Definition of illiberal in English:


Line breaks: il¦lib|eral
Pronunciation: /ɪˈlɪb(ə)r(ə)l


  • 2 archaic Uncultured or unrefined.
    More example sentences
    • We are not so much worried about being convicted of being illiberal as having the charge even raised in the first place.
    • They tend to be illiberal, boorish, uncultured, arrogant snobs.
  • 3 archaic Not generous; mean.
    More example sentences
    • He is avaricious and ambitious, I fear ungenerous and illiberal; is destitute of heroic daring.



More example sentences
  • Yet around the turn of the 19th century, illiberalism crept in.
  • The second ingredient of liberal democracy that such illiberalism denies is a belief in the superiority of reasoned argument over force.
  • Anyhow I for one whilst disgusted am not surprised at this goverment's hypocritical illiberalism.


Pronunciation: /-ˈralɪti/
More example sentences
  • This Magna Carta thing is very weird because in the last 800 years we have had the Tudors, sheep stealing, Newgate prison, incredible illiberality.
  • Their illiberality is consistently depressing.
  • Before decolonization, it was possible to believe that colonial rule was as bad a form of illiberality as could exist.


More example sentences
  • The Liberal Democrats behaved, as ever, illiberally and voted against.
  • An illiberally educated person meets new ideas with fear.
  • Or am I alone in illiberally wanting to be told that Archer has been ordered to clean latrines?


mid 16th century (in the sense 'vulgar, ill-bred'): from French illibéral, from Latin illiberalis 'mean, sordid', from in- 'not' + liberalis (see liberal).

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