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 9, 2004
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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
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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 15, 2014
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Liberal is a political ideology that more or lest contrasts with Conservatism. Liberalism focuses mostly on individual liberty; essentially everyone having equal and fair rights. They feel strongly about the constitution, and keeping our right strong.

I am a liberal, and I am proud to say it.

Zach De La Rocha practices liberalism very strongly.

Conservative 2: Outrageous! Damned liberals!
by Mister can't find a name. October 15, 2007
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“I wish I could be in a crime family!”

“Your liberalism is really shining through Justin.”
by C0nm4n October 21, 2020
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A liberal is someone who supports - liberty, individual rights, market economy, utilitarianism, limited government, individualism and natural law.

Liberalism has two/three main variants - Classical Liberalism, Social Liberalism, Ordoliberalism (Also National Liberalism, Economic Liberalism and Cultural Liberalism - Not proper ideologies that are describing certain liberal view on an issue)

However, thanks to political illiteracy, Liberalism is now being used synonymously with Socialism, Communism, Progressivism etc. Core value of Liberalism is individual liberty, Liberals dont infringe on rights of the individual.

Also a bummer, Democrats arent Liberals.
1. Conservative: "Fucking liberals and their limitation of rights"
2. Socialist: "Fucking liberals and their market"
3. Communist: "Fucking liberal imperialists"
4. Communist Alt: "Fucking Neoliberals"
5. Conservative Alt: "Fucking Neoliberal World Order"
6. Social Democrat: "Liberalism has ruined our economy!"
by CaneHill August 11, 2019
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A broad collection of ideologies which share the importance of protecting individual liberty and the consent of the governed at their core. Liberalism originated from the philosophies of enlightenment thinkers such as Locke and Voltaire, and is based heavily on the social contract theory. Liberalism today manifests itself in many different forms, ranging from Libertarian ideas which state that the government must interfere little in private affairs, to Social/Progressive/Modern Liberalism which holds that the government must step in to protect "positive freedoms" such as the right to an education in order for all people to have the platform needed to achieve liberty. Liberalism is neither left wing nor right wing because of this wide variety.
Barack Obama is an adherent of the forms of liberalism which place emphasis on positive freedoms.
by Sirius0428 June 19, 2021
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