Definition of at liberty in English:

at liberty


  • 1Not imprisoned.

    ‘he was at liberty for three months before he was recaptured’
    • ‘She submits that the purpose, or at least a purpose, of imprisonment is to punish the criminal by depriving him of certain rights and pleasures which he can only enjoy when at liberty.’
    • ‘It seems to me either he is at liberty or he is not, and the imposition of conditions assumes the residue of power is still being exercised.’
    • ‘It is well known that people are more likely to commit suicide when they are in prison or in a police cell than when they are at liberty.’
    • ‘He ought not to be kept in custodial limbo indefinitely, entitled neither to a hearing of the case against him nor to be set at liberty.’
    • ‘At present there are a number of persons accused of murder at liberty on bail and in some cases it is many months after the alleged murder that the case comes to trial.’
    • ‘The defendant remained at liberty under his original bond of $35,000.’
    • ‘The third point is that the second applicant had opportunity to abscond in the four months during which he was at liberty.’
    • ‘On the alternative formulation the prisoner in that situation would be at liberty (albeit on licence).’
    • ‘After they were set at liberty they did not lose sight of them.’
    • ‘So far, Russia's other oligarchs are at liberty, and their companies remain intact.’
    free, on the loose, loose, set loose, at large, unconfined, roaming
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  • 2Allowed or entitled to do something.

    ‘he's not at liberty to discuss his real work’
    • ‘I'm not at liberty to say, because I am not positive.’
    • ‘We are being put at risk, because patients are free to roam and at liberty to abscond.’
    • ‘Desdemona said a friend was storing valuables there, and she wasn't at liberty to allow them in.’
    • ‘I could explain, but for the first time in two months, I am at liberty to do absolutely nothing at all and as you might guess, I'm really quite eager to get going on that.’
    • ‘The mountains are still free, and we're all at liberty to climb them largely as we desire.’
    • ‘The parties shall be at liberty in the interim, through counsel, to propose a candidate or candidates for the position of guardian of the person and guardian of the property.’
    • ‘In fact, a principal authority is at liberty to withdraw the functions assigned to an agent.’
    • ‘It is too soon yet in our country to say that every man who cannot find employment, but who can find uncultivated land, shall be at liberty to cultivate it, paying a moderate rent.’
    • ‘We're only talking about an incontrovertible fact of revelation for Catholics, which we are no more at liberty to destroy than the doctrine of the Trinity.’
    • ‘Up to then it had been wholly outside my experience (and also my naive expectations) that police officers were seemingly at liberty to heartily abuse members of the citizenry.’
    free, permitted, allowed, authorized, able, entitled, eligible, fit
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