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liberal (the most freq. sense is ‘bountiful, generous’)
1. the distinctive epithet of those arts and sciences which were deemed worthy of a free man Tp. I. ii. 73.
2. of gentleman-like habits or character 2H6 IV. vii. 68, 3H6 I. ii. 43; ‘becoming a gentleman’ (J.) or person of refinement or taste LLL. II. i. 167 “All reason I will yield unto,” Ham. V. ii. 160 “of very conceit” (=of tasteful design; similarly “-conceited” 169).
3. free in speech R2 II. i. 230 “a tongue,” Oth. V. ii. 218 “I'll be in speaking as the north” (as an adv. in Ff “speak as liberal as the north”).
4. unrestrained by prudence or decorum, gross, licentious Ado IV. i. 93 “a villain,” LLL. V. ii. 741, Mer.V. II. ii. 200, Ham. IV. vii. 171* “That shepherds give a grosser name” (or ? sense 3), Oth. II. i. 164 “a most profane and liberal counsellor.”
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hide References (6 total)
  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries from this page (6):
    • William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, 4.7
    • William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, 5.2
    • William Shakespeare, The Second Part of Henry VI, 4.7
    • William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, 2.2
    • William Shakespeare, Richard II, 2.1
    • William Shakespeare, The Tempest, 1.2
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