Online Dictionary

civil liberty Explained

civil liberty at English => English (Longman) Of Explained:

n [U] also civil liberties the right of all citizens to be free to do whatever they want while respecting the rights of other people//

civil liberty at English => English (The Britannica Concise) Of Explained:

In U.S. law, freedom from arbitrary interference in one's pursuits by individuals or by the government as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The term is usually used in the plural. The 13th Amendment prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude; the 14th bars the application of any law that would abridge the "privileges and immunities" of U.S. citizens or deprive any person of "life, liberty, or property . . . without due process of law" or deny any person equal protection under the law; and the 15th guarantees the right of all U.S. citizens to vote. The related term civil right(s) often refers to one or more of these liberties as well as to those guaranteed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. See also Amer. Civil Liberties Union.

civil liberty at English => English (Oxford Advanced Learners) Of Explained:

[C, usually pl., U] the right of people to be free to say or do what they want while respecting others and staying within the law:
an infringement of our civil liberties

Civil liberty at English => English (Websters 1913) Of Explained:

Liberty \Lib"er*ty\ (l[i^]b"[~e]r*t[y^]), n.; pl. {Liberties}
(-t[i^]z). [OE. liberte, F. libert['e], fr. L. libertas, fr.
liber free. See {Liberal}.]
1. The state of a free person; exemption from subjection to
the will of another claiming ownership of the person or
services; freedom; -- opposed to slavery, serfdom,
bondage, or subjection.

But ye . . . caused every man his servant, and every
man his handmaid whom he had set at liberty at their
pleasure, to return, and brought them into
subjection. --Jer. xxxiv.

Delivered fro the bondage of corruption into the
glorious liberty of the sons of God. --Bible, 1551.
Rom. viii. 21.

2. Freedom from imprisonment, bonds, or other restraint upon

Being pent from liberty, as I am now. --Shak.

3. A privilege conferred by a superior power; permission
granted; leave; as, liberty given to a child to play, or
to a witness to leave a court, and the like.

4. Privilege; exemption; franchise; immunity enjoyed by
prescription or by grant; as, the liberties of the
commercial cities of Europe.

His majesty gave not an entire county to any; much
less did he grant . . . any extraordinary liberties.
--Sir J.

5. The place within which certain immunities are enjoyed, or
jurisdiction is exercised. [Eng.]

Brought forth into some public or open place within
the liberty of the city, and there . . . burned.

6. A certain amount of freedom; permission to go freely
within certain limits; also, the place or limits within
which such freedom is exercised; as, the liberties of a

7. A privilege or license in violation of the laws of
etiquette or propriety; as, to permit, or take, a liberty.

He was repeatedly provoked into striking those who
had taken liberties with him. --Macaulay.

8. The power of choice; freedom from necessity; freedom from
compulsion or constraint in willing.

The idea of liberty is the idea of a power in any
agent to do or forbear any particular action,
according to the determination or thought of the
mind, whereby either of them is preferred to the
other. --Locke.

This liberty of judgment did not of necessity lead
to lawlessness. --J. A.

9. (Manege) A curve or arch in a bit to afford room for the
tongue of the horse.

10. (Naut.) Leave of absence; permission to go on shore.

{At liberty}.
(a) Unconfined; free.
(b) At leisure.

{Civil liberty}, exemption from arbitrary interference with
person, opinion, or property, on the part of the
government under which one lives, and freedom to take part
in modifying that government or its laws.

{Liberty bell}. See under {Bell}.

{Liberty cap}.
(a) The Roman pileus which was given to a slave at his
(b) A limp, close-fitting cap with which the head of
representations of the goddess of liberty is often
decked. It is sometimes represented on a spear or a
liberty pole.

{Liberty of the press}, freedom to print and publish without
official supervision.

{Liberty party}, the party, in the American Revolution, which
favored independence of England; in more recent usage, a
party which favored the emancipation of the slaves.

{Liberty pole}, a tall flagstaff planted in the ground, often
surmounted by a liberty cap. [U. S.]

{Moral liberty}, that liberty of choice which is essential to
moral responsibility.

{Religious liberty}, freedom of religious opinion and

Syn: Leave; permission; license.

Usage: {Liberty}, {Freedom}. These words, though often
interchanged, are distinct in some of their
applications. Liberty has reference to previous
restraint; freedom, to the simple, unrepressed
exercise of our powers. A slave is set at liberty; his
master had always been in a state of freedom. A
prisoner under trial may ask liberty (exemption from
restraint) to speak his sentiments with freedom (the
spontaneous and bold utterance of his feelings). The
liberty of the press is our great security for freedom
of thought.

civil liberty at English => English (WordNet) Of Explained:

civil liberty
n 1: one's freedom to exercise one's rights as guaranteed under
the laws of the country [syn: {political liberty}]
2: fundamental individual right protected by law and expressed
as immunity from unwarranted governmental interference