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Today’s word from the academic word list is



This is a word with any number of different uses. It can be used of course in politics to describe people and parties that allow more freedom. It can also be used more generally to describe things that are either generous or less strict and it is also sometimes used in education to talk about liberal arts. The word is also closely associated with the women’s liberation movement.

Forms of the word

liberal: a noun (mostly used in politics)

liberal: an adjective (used both in politics and more generally)

liberally: the adverb

liberate: a verb [to free]

liberation; the abstract uncountable noun

liberating/liberated: two “twin” adjectives (they use the same pattern as boring and bored)

liberalise: another verb (to make less strict)

A little grammar

Something liberates something/somebody from something. So Creches in the workplace liberate women from having to pay for childcare.

Using the words

arts: The best solution might be to have a system where there were some colleges that focussed on more practical and vocational skills and others that specialised more in the liberal arts.

democracy/democrat: Despite the fact that many western societies are labelled as being liberal democracies, there is still a great deal of inequality in them.

interpretation: A more liberal interpretation of this proposal is that it is intended to give more freedom to young people.

attitude/approach: It would help if teachers took a more liberal attitude to children who do not conform.

experience: For many people going to university is a liberating experience as it is the first time they are not reliant on their parents.


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