Definition of liberal arts in English:

liberal arts

plural noun

  • 1North American Arts subjects such as literature and history, as distinct from science and technology.

    • ‘Through the establishment of courses in humanities, management and economics, we expect to permeate liberal arts into the sciences.’
    • ‘Among the most vulnerable programs may be those in the liberal arts, especially the humanities and social sciences.’
    • ‘Most of those working in the media have backgrounds in the liberal arts, not the sciences, so the case for maths and numeracy is often worse than poorly put - it is not put at all.’
    • ‘Duncan's conviction is hardly a surprise, given the fact that his own career has melded action and contemplation, science and liberal arts.’
    • ‘Those students were excluded from Newcomb College, which only included women in the liberal arts and sciences.’
    • ‘The first five cover science and application, and the second five cover liberal arts, and career and personal development.’
    • ‘For example, it took almost a decade to change the name of the college because of opposition from liberal arts and sciences.’
    • ‘Like the liberal arts, the sciences are increasingly engaged with a technical rather than a philosophical approach to their subjects.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, Slovak parents generally advocated practical learning over an education in the sciences or liberal arts.’
    • ‘Education during most of the 20th century divided, all too neatly, between liberal arts and the sciences.’
    • ‘If he had been a man of the left, he would be teaching that subject at some small liberal arts college for $70,000 a year.’
    • ‘Students also will study mathematics, science, liberal arts and the humanities as part of the curriculum.’
    • ‘In some aspects, colleges of agriculture are beginning to look more like colleges of liberal arts and sciences.’
    • ‘In most cases, this core included specified courses, or credit hours, in liberal arts and science fields, or both.’
    • ‘The only liberal arts that are growing are psychology and the biological sciences.’
    • ‘For instance, professors in fields like computer science could receive more generous pay hikes than those in liberal arts.’
    • ‘He argues that virtually all faculty in the liberal arts are Democrats.’
    • ‘In the native model, however, the influences of majoring in the liberal arts and health sciences were absent.’
    • ‘The school is evaluated on the basis of its commitment to liberal arts and science education.’
    • ‘For the past several decades our dedication to the liberal arts, to learning for its own sake, has been predominant.’
    written works, writings, writing, creative writing, literary texts, compositions, letters, belles-lettres
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  • 2historical The medieval trivium and quadrivium.

    • ‘These objects represent the seven liberal arts that provided the basis of a Renaissance education.’

Origin

Liberal, as distinct from servile or mechanical (i.e. involving manual labour) and originally referring to arts and sciences considered ‘worthy of a free man’; later the word related to general intellectual development rather than vocational training.

Pronunciation

liberal arts