Liberalism is a political philosophy-ideology favouring centrist-laissez-faire economics, willing to comprimise a bit. Additionally, liberalism advocates for the invidualist freedoms, including democratic rights. They support a democracy. Liberals are also advocate of separation of church and state, open-disscusion, Social Progressivism and centrism.
Liberalism has it's own radicalized variations, not centristic. One such radicalized variation is Libertarianism. In the US, people confuse liberals with Social democrats, democratic socialists, and anyone not a conservative. Liberals, however, differ from Social democrats in not supporting too many government funded programs, being more to the right. They are, although, willing to make comprimises with them and conservatives.
by Secular leftist October 21, 2005
Top Definition
An ideology based on beliefs of economic and personal freedom, and the fact that social inequalities are a part of nature. (Also libertarianism to the American readers.)

A definition later to be distorted by Americans, who mainly associate "liberalism" with being left-wing on the political scale, disregarding the original and correct sense of the word.
Each man is the architect of his own fortune.
by Svengali April 09, 2004
An ideology that has a preference for self-government in personal matters and central decision-making on economics. They want government to serve the disadvantaged in the name of fairness. Leftists tolerate social diversity, but work for economic equality.
Publicly funded education, progressive income taxes, and women's voting rights all orgiginated from the ideas of liberalism.
by Les Moore January 29, 2004
Something that people like Ann Coulter and other neoconservatives misrepresent. The Green and Libertarian parties both embrace the philosophy of liberalism.

Liberalism has nothing to do with economy. It is completely independent of capitalism or any other economic system. Liberalism is a strictly social philosophy.

It is the opposite of authoritarianism.
It is also NOT the opposite of conservatism.

Under liberalism, the government has little role in regulating social affairs. Under liberalism, the government exists to protect liberties, not take them away.
"Liberalism is a political current embracing several historical and present-day ideologies that claim defense of individual liberty as the purpose of government. It typically favors the right to dissent from orthodox tenets or established authorities in political or religious matters. In this respect, it is sometimes held in contrast to conservatism. Since liberalism also focuses on the ability of individuals to structure a society, it is almost always opposed to totalitarianism, and often to collectivist ideologies, particularly communism." - Wikipedia.com

The Bill of Rights is a product of liberalism.
by DrIdiot March 01, 2005
Liberalism- (1) an adult mental disorder manifested by a state of suspended adolescent thought a behavior. (2) An inability to recognize truth, reason with thought, and intelligently offer prudent, thought provoking ideas based upon reality and common sense.
'Liberalism in American schools has led to the mandatory stoppage of games that results in a clear winner or loser, such as tag and dodge ball, while insisting that homosexual and transsexual immorality be forced without consent on k-12 children.'
by bosco89121 April 17, 2008
While modern terminology refers to liberalism as the left political spectrum, there are also many other types of liberalism. Examples being:
Progressive liberalism: Normally associated with the Democratic Party. Is known for welfare programs, increased social freedom, and advocating for civil rights. Is also infamous for increasing taxes to pay for these welfare programs, and an insistence on overemphasized political correctness.
Corporatist liberalism: Normally associated with the Republican Party. Also referred to as "conservatism," which means conserving the present economic system. Believes in minimizing taxes for corporations and businesses, increased economic freedom, and privatizing social benefit programs currently run by the government. Is also infamous for restricted social freedom, increased pollution rates while in power, and minimal regulation of stock market fluctuations.
Classical liberalism: Normally associated with the Libertarian Party. Is known for restricted extracontinental activity, wishing to abolish income taxes, and little to no social/economic restrictions. Is not infamous for anything because we haven't had the sense to elect any of them to anything more than a local office.
Tyrone D'amonte is a Progressive. He enjoys playing b-ball with his homies, slinging dope, and car jumping. When caught by the police, he asserts he "didn do nuffin" and accuses them of being racist. He spends his welfare check on smoke instead of the 9 children and their mother who works 3 jobs at home.

Cletus Crawford is a Corporatist. He works at Kentucky Lumberyard Co. and enjoys working overtime 7 days a week. He doesn't like all them homo-sexals and coons comin up into his neighborhood and terkin his jerbs. He drives a rusty 1992 Ford Ranger filled with empty whisky flasks and spent cigars. He lives in a trailer on the far side of Lexington and normally beats his children.

Steve Smith is a Classical. While in school, he received acceptable grades and after high school, was accepted into ITT Birmingham. After graduating from college, he started his own business creating digital images via the CAD software. He freelances his services between making banners to be used by LGBT at their conventions and creating blueprints for new civilian rifles for Heckler & Koch.

These are all examples of liberalism in modern American viewpoints/terms.
by IAmRonPaul May 14, 2014
Part I: Definition

Liberalism literally means 'to be liberal' and liberal means 'to be loose'. THIS MEANS that liberals do not want laws. That is vaguely true, and maybe if you can find a conservative anarchist I'll be wrong. Liberalism is the establishment of liberals in politics. They usually vote for and represent democrats, John McCain = exception. Liberals advocate personal freedoms and peace, as well as recognize problems worldwide, and not the ones that only threaten us (Iraq, Afghanistan, but the first one was a hoax to help Halliburton the oil company).

Part II: Bashing
To the peopl who said Liberals are semi-retarded: type into Google 2004 election by IQ. You'll be surprised. It may not be believable at first, but the inability to find a site supporting you will lead to the stomach-turning conclusion.
To the person who said we kill babies 'for no reason': Umm, maybe you forgot that children, while a bundle of joy, cost about 225000 dollars for education, food, the works. this includes tax write-offs. And to the people who said we whine, next time listen to what we whine about. If it isnt about the 13-digit deficit our economy is suffering, which wasnt as bad as the clinton era, its about the Free trade agreement Bush signed which entitles landowners to rule their workers like serfs in the fifteenth century.
Liberalism = reflecting on the world's problems and using judgement to create a future like we've never seen
Conservatism = reflecting on America's problems and using past experiences our country has endured to create a future that can show repetitiveness and therefore we (or 'theye')can make it better this time.
by Diego D. A. May 30, 2006
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