The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Liberal \Lib"er*al\ (l[i^]b"[~e]r*al), a. [F. lib['e]ral, L.
liberalis, from liber free; perh. akin to libet, lubet, it
pleases, E. lief. Cf. Deliver.]
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
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Not narrow or contracted in mind; not selfish; enlarged in
6. Free to excess; regardless of law or moral restraint;
licentious. " Most like a liberal villain." --Shak.
7. 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.
Note: 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
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
Syn: Generous; bountiful; munificent; beneficent; ample;
large; profuse; free.
Usage: 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
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Art \Art\ ([aum]rt), n. [F. art, L. ars, artis, orig., skill in
joining or fitting; prob. akin to E. arm, aristocrat,
1. The employment of means to accomplish some desired end;
the adaptation of things in the natural world to the uses
of life; the application of knowledge or power to
Blest with each grace of nature and of art. --Pope.
2. A system of rules serving to facilitate the performance of
certain actions; a system of principles and rules for
attaining a desired end; method of doing well some special
work; -- often contradistinguished from science or
speculative principles; as, the art of building or
engraving; the art of war; the art of navigation.
Science is systematized knowledge . . . Art is
knowledge made efficient by skill. --J. F.
3. The systematic application of knowledge or skill in
effecting a desired result. Also, an occupation or
business requiring such knowledge or skill.
The fishermen can't employ their art with so much
success in so troubled a sea. --Addison.
4. The application of skill to the production of the
beautiful by imitation or design, or an occupation in
which skill is so employed, as in painting and sculpture;
one of the fine arts; as, he prefers art to literature.
5. pl. Those branches of learning which are taught in the
academical course of colleges; as, master of arts.
In fearless youth we tempt the heights of arts.
Four years spent in the arts (as they are called in
colleges) is, perhaps, laying too laborious a
6. Learning; study; applied knowledge, science, or letters.
So vast is art, so narrow human wit. --Pope.
7. Skill, dexterity, or the power of performing certain
actions, acquired by experience, study, or observation;
knack; as, a man has the art of managing his business to
8. Skillful plan; device.
They employed every art to soothe . . . the
discontented warriors. --Macaulay.
9. Cunning; artifice; craft.
Madam, I swear I use no art at all. --Shak.
Animals practice art when opposed to their superiors
in strength. --Crabb.
10. The black art; magic. [Obs.] --Shak.
Art and part (Scots Law), share or concern by aiding and
abetting a criminal in the perpetration of a crime,
whether by advice or by assistance in the execution;
Note: The arts are divided into various classes.
The useful arts,
The mechanical arts, or
The industrial arts are those in which the hands and body
are more concerned than the mind; as in making clothes and
utensils. These are called trades.
The fine arts are those which have primarily to do with
imagination and taste, and are applied to the production
of what is beautiful. They include poetry, music,
painting, engraving, sculpture, and architecture; but the
term is often confined to painting, sculpture, and
The liberal arts (artes liberales, the higher arts, which,
among the Romans, only freemen were permitted to pursue)
were, in the Middle Ages, these seven branches of
learning, -- grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic,
geometry, music, and astronomy. In modern times the
liberal arts include the sciences, philosophy, history,
etc., which compose the course of academical or collegiate
education. Hence, degrees in the arts; master and bachelor
In America, literature and the elegant arts must
grow up side by side with the coarser plants of
daily necessity. --Irving.
Syn: Science; literature; aptitude; readiness; skill;
dexterity; adroitness; contrivance; profession;
business; trade; calling; cunning; artifice; duplicity.