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In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.
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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary
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1828.mshaffer.comWord [liberal]

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liberal

LIB'ERAL, a. [L. liberalis, from liber, free. See Libe.]

1. Of a free heart; free to give or bestow; not close or contracted; munificent; bountiful; generous; giving largely; as a liberal donor; the liberal founders of a college or hospital. It expresses less than profuse or extravagant.

2. Generous; ample; large; as a liberal donation; a liberal allowance.

3. Not selfish, narrow on contracted; catholic; enlarged; embracing other interests than one's own; as liberal sentiments or views; a liberal mind; liberal policy.

4. General; extensive; embracing literature and the sciences generally; as a liberal education. This phrase is often but not necessarily synonymous with collegiate; as a collegiate education.

5. Free; open; candid; as a liberal communication of thoughts.

6. Large; profuse; as a liberal discharge of matter by secretions or excretions.

7. Free; not literal or strict; as a liberal construction of law.

8. Not mean; not low in birth or mind.

9. Licentious; free to excess.

Liberal arts, as distinguished from mechanical arts, are such as depend more on the exertion of the mind than on the labor of the hands, and regard amusement, curiosity or intellectual improvement, rather than the necessity of subsistence, or manual skill. Such are grammar, rhetoric, painting, sculpture, architecture, music. &c.

Liberal has of before the thing bestowed, and to before the person or object on which any thing is bestowed; as, to be liberal of praise or censure; liberal to the poor.



Evolution (or devolution) of this word [liberal]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

LIB'ERAL, a. [L. liberalis, from liber, free. See Libe.]

1. Of a free heart; free to give or bestow; not close or contracted; munificent; bountiful; generous; giving largely; as a liberal donor; the liberal founders of a college or hospital. It expresses less than profuse or extravagant.

2. Generous; ample; large; as a liberal donation; a liberal allowance.

3. Not selfish, narrow on contracted; catholic; enlarged; embracing other interests than one's own; as liberal sentiments or views; a liberal mind; liberal policy.

4. General; extensive; embracing literature and the sciences generally; as a liberal education. This phrase is often but not necessarily synonymous with collegiate; as a collegiate education.

5. Free; open; candid; as a liberal communication of thoughts.

6. Large; profuse; as a liberal discharge of matter by secretions or excretions.

7. Free; not literal or strict; as a liberal construction of law.

8. Not mean; not low in birth or mind.

9. Licentious; free to excess.

Liberal arts, as distinguished from mechanical arts, are such as depend more on the exertion of the mind than on the labor of the hands, and regard amusement, curiosity or intellectual improvement, rather than the necessity of subsistence, or manual skill. Such are grammar, rhetoric, painting, sculpture, architecture, music. &c.

Liberal has of before the thing bestowed, and to before the person or object on which any thing is bestowed; as, to be liberal of praise or censure; liberal to the poor.

LIB'ER-AL, a. [Fr. from L. liberalis, from liber, free. See Libel.]

  1. Of a free heart; free to give or bestow; not close or contracted; munificent; bountiful; generous; giving largely; as, a liberal donor; the liberal founders of a college or hospital. It expresses less than profuse or extravagant.
  2. Generous; ample; large; as, a liberal donation; a liberal allowance.
  3. Not selfish, narrow or contracted; catholic; enlarged; embracing other interests than one's own; as, liberal sentiments or views; a liberal mind; liberal policy.
  4. General; extensive; embracing literature and the sciences generally; as, a liberal education. This phrase is often but not necessarily synonymous with collegiate; as, a collegiate education.
  5. Free; open; candid; as, a liberal communication of thoughts.
  6. Large; profuse; as, a liberal discharge of matter by secretions or excretions.
  7. Free; not literal or strict; as, a liberal construction of law.
  8. Not mean; not low in birth or mind.
  9. Licentious; free to excess. Shak. Liberal arts, as distinguished from mechanical arts, are such as depend more on the exertion of the mind than on the labor of the hands, and regard amusement, curiosity or intellectual improvement, rather than the necessity of subsistence, or manual skill. Such are grammar, rhetoric, painting, sculpture, architecture, music, &c. Liberal has of before the thing bestowed, and to before the person or object on which any thing is bestowed; as, to be is liberal of praise or censure; liberal to the poor.

Lib"er*al
  1. Free by birth; hence, befitting a freeman or gentleman; refined; noble; independent; free; not servile or mean; as, a liberal ancestry; a liberal spirit; liberal arts or studies.

    " Liberal education." Macaulay. " A liberal tongue." Shak.
  2. One who favors greater freedom in political or religious matters; an opponent of the established systems; a reformer; in English politics, a member of the Liberal party, so called. Cf. Whig.
  3. Bestowing in a large and noble way, as a freeman; generous; bounteous; open-handed; as, a liberal giver.

    " Liberal of praise." Bacon.

    Infinitely good, and of his good
    As liberal and free as infinite.
    Milton.

  4. Bestowed in a large way; hence, more than sufficient; abundant; bountiful; ample; profuse; as, a liberal gift; a liberal discharge of matter or of water.

    His wealth doth warrant a liberal dower. Shak.

  5. Not strict or rigorous; not confined or restricted to the literal sense; free; as, a liberal translation of a classic, or a liberal construction of law or of language.
  6. Not narrow or contracted in mind; not selfish; enlarged in spirit; catholic.
  7. Free to excess; regardless of law or moral restraint; licentious.

    " Most like a liberal villain." Shak.
  8. Not bound by orthodox tenets or established forms in political or religious philosophy; independent in opinion; not conservative; friendly to great freedom in the constitution or administration of government; having tendency toward democratic or republican, as distinguished from monarchical or aristocratic, forms; as, liberal thinkers; liberal Christians; the Liberal party.

    I confess I see nothing liberal in this " order of thoughts," as Hobbes elsewhere expresses it. Hazlitt.

    * Liberal has of, sometimes with, before the thing bestowed, in before a word signifying action, and to before a person or object on which anything is bestowed; as, to be liberal of praise or censure; liberal with money; liberal in giving; liberal to the poor.

    The liberal arts. See under Art. -- Liberal education, education that enlarges and disciplines the mind and makes it master of its own powers, irrespective of the particular business or profession one may follow.

    Syn. -- Generous; bountiful; munificent; beneficent; ample; large; profuse; free. -- Liberal, Generous. Liberal is freeborn, and generous is highborn. The former is opposed to the ordinary feelings of a servile state, and implies largeness of spirit in giving, judging, acting, etc. The latter expresses that nobleness of soul which is peculiarly appropriate to those of high rank, -- a spirit that goes out of self, and finds its enjoyment in consulting the feelings and happiness of others. Generosity is measured by the extent of the sacrifices it makes; liberality, by the warmth of feeling which it manifests.

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Liberal

LIB'ERAL, adjective [Latin liberalis, from liber, free. See Libe.]

1. Of a free heart; free to give or bestow; not close or contracted; munificent; bountiful; generous; giving largely; as a liberal donor; the liberal founders of a college or hospital. It expresses less than profuse or extravagant.

2. Generous; ample; large; as a liberal donation; a liberal allowance.

3. Not selfish, narrow on contracted; catholic; enlarged; embracing other interests than one's own; as liberal sentiments or views; a liberal mind; liberal policy.

4. General; extensive; embracing literature and the sciences generally; as a liberal education. This phrase is often but not necessarily synonymous with collegiate; as a collegiate education.

5. Free; open; candid; as a liberal communication of thoughts.

6. Large; profuse; as a liberal discharge of matter by secretions or excretions.

7. Free; not literal or strict; as a liberal construction of law.

8. Not mean; not low in birth or mind.

9. Licentious; free to excess.

Liberal arts, as distinguished from mechanical arts, are such as depend more on the exertion of the mind than on the labor of the hands, and regard amusement, curiosity or intellectual improvement, rather than the necessity of subsistence, or manual skill. Such are grammar, rhetoric, painting, sculpture, architecture, music. etc.

Liberal has of before the thing bestowed, and to before the person or object on which any thing is bestowed; as, to be liberal of praise or censure; liberal to the poor.

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The 1828 Websters American Dictionary is important to me because it helps me understand the meanings of words in the bible without a jaundiced meaning.

— MT (Windsor, CO)

Word of the Day

importance

IMPORT'ANCE, n.

1. Weight; consequence; a bearing on some interest; that quality of any thing by which it may affect a measure, interest or result. The education of youth is of great importance to a free government. A religious education is of infinite importance to every human being.

2. Weight or consequence in the scale of being.

Thy own importance know.

Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.

3. Weight or consequence in self-estimation.

He believes himself a man of importance.

4. Thing implied; matter; subject; importunity. [In these senses, obsolete.]

Random Word

eightieth

EIGHTIETH, a. 'atieth. [from eighty.] The next in order to the seventy ninth; the eighth tenth.

Noah's 1828 Dictionary

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Noah Webster, the Father of American Christian education, wrote the first American dictionary and established a system of rules to govern spelling, grammar, and reading. This master linguist understood the power of words, their definitions, and the need for precise word usage in communication to maintain independence. Webster used the Bible as the foundation for his definitions.

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