Definition of take liberties in US English:

take liberties


  • 1Behave in an unduly familiar manner toward a person.

    ‘you've taken too many liberties with me’
    • ‘I got on well with my teammates, but I think that would have been taking liberties towards the club.’
    • ‘Still, the advertisements are part of a growing strain of Web marketing that takes liberties with requested Web pages, browsers and e-mail in-boxes, making it harder for people to ignore ads.’
    • ‘He was a man with whom it was impossible to imagine the most audacious student venturing to take a liberty.’
    • ‘Over time, the children of family members may take liberties that when left unchecked, become real problems.’
    act with overfamiliarity, act with familiarity, show disrespect, act with impropriety, act indecorously, be impudent, commit a breach of etiquette, act with boldness, act with impertinence, show insolence, show impudence, show presumptuousness, show presumption, show forwardness, show audacity, be unrestrained
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  • 2Treat something freely, without strict faithfulness to the facts or to an original.

    ‘the scriptwriter has taken few liberties with the original narrative’
    • ‘For Parker, the traditionalists who accuse him of taking liberties are one of the targets.’
    • ‘This is one of the problems of an adaptation, where the writer must decide between a faithful, textually based adaptation and one that takes liberties in order to make it a better film.’
    • ‘It's a liberty I choose to take with my chosen brand of fiction.’
    • ‘The exact wording of the contract gave him a tiny amount of wiggle room but he was still taking an enormous liberty.’
    • ‘I'll take liberties creating new melodies while still preserving the integrity of the tune.’
    • ‘In the commentary, Wright remarks on several other liberties he and the other filmmakers took.’
    • ‘Although he followed the form of the drawing the inker took liberties with the face and the musculature.’
    • ‘Doing so is disingenuous, and takes liberties with the facts and the policy of this matter.’
    • ‘I had to take liberties in the name of science.’
    • ‘Although I've taken a little liberty with it, it was told to me as a supposed true story.’