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Definition of liberalism

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Houghton Mifflin

lib·er·al·ism  audio  (lbr--lzm, lbr-) KEY 

  1. The state or quality of being liberal.
    1. A political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority.
    2. often Liberalism The tenets or policies of a Liberal party.
  2. An economic theory in favor of laissez-faire, the free market, and the gold standard.
  3. Liberalism
    1. A 19th-century Protestant movement that favored free intellectual inquiry, stressed the ethical and humanitarian content of Christianity, and de-emphasized dogmatic theology.
    2. A 19th-century Roman Catholic movement that favored political democracy and ecclesiastical reform but was theologically orthodox.

liber·al·ist(Noun), liber·al·istic  (-lstk) KEY (Adjective)

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