A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1196

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1196

Líberty. n.s. [liberté, French; libertas, Latin.]

  1. Freedom, as opposed to slavery.

    My master knows of your being here, and hath threatened to put me into everlasting liberty, if I tell you of it; for he swears, he'll turn me away. Shakespeare.

    O liberty! thou goddess, heav'nly bright!
    Profuse of bliss, and pregnant with delight,
    Eternal pleasures in thy presence reign.

  2. Freedom, as opposed to necessity.

    Liberty is the 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.

    As it is in the motions of the body, so it is in the thoughts of our minds: where any one is such, that we have power to take it up, or lay it by, according to the preference of the mind, there we are at liberty. Locke.

  3. Privilege; exemption; immunity.

    His majesty gave not an intire country to any, much less did he grant jura gealia, or any extraordinary liberties. Davies.

  4. Relaxation of restraint.

  5. Leave; permission.

    I shall take the liberty to consider a third ground, which, with some men, has the same authority. Locke.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Davies, John (45) · Locke, John (269) · Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor (95)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Liberty." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 5, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/liberty/.

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