Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal.


1. Narrow-minded; bigoted.
2. Archaic Ungenerous, mean, or stingy.
3. Archaic
a. Lacking education in the liberal arts.
b. Ill-bred; vulgar.

[Latin illīberālis : in-, not; see in-1 + līberālis, liberal; see liberal.]

il·lib′er·al·ism n.
il·lib′er·al′i·ty (-ə-răl′ĭ-tē), il·lib′er·al·ness n.
il·lib′er·al·ly adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.illiberality - a disposition not to be liberal (generous) with money
stinginess - a lack of generosity; a general unwillingness to part with money
liberality, liberalness - the trait of being generous in behavior and temperament
References in classic literature ?
The illiberality of parents, in allowance towards their children, is an harmful error; makes them base; acquaints them with shifts; makes them sort with mean company; and makes them surfeit more when they come to plenty.
Let the calum- niators of the colored race despise themselves for their baseness and illiberality of spirit, and hence- forth cease to talk of the natural inferiority of those who require nothing but time and opportunity to attain to the highest point of human excellence.
If then we adhere to our original notion and bear in mind that our guardians, setting aside every other business, are to dedicate themselves wholly to the maintenance of freedom in the State, making this their craft, and engaging in no work which does not bear on this end, they ought not to practise or imitate anything else; if they imitate at all, they should imitate from youth upward only those characters which are suitable to their profession-- the courageous, temperate, holy, free, and the like; but they should not depict or be skilful at imitating any kind of illiberality or baseness, lest from imitation they should come to be what they imitate.
This means that the liberal imagination requires pre- and post-texts to lighten and reorient the illiberality of sex into liberally comprehensible values, such as procreation, love, family, and so forth.
No one who reads the Progressives can doubt their illiberality.
Far from being progressive, these criticisms of Spanish despotism and illiberality in Cuba are constructed by US and Cuban planters on the island--who are mouthpieces, moreover, of an alliance of Northern and Southern agitators from the mainland--seeking to topple the Spanish colonial government and thus to entrench US slavery in Cuba.
At the same time, widespread property ownership and the preoccupation with material wealth may make a people excessively conservative, even to the point of illiberality.
It has been argued, however, that part of its failure "stems from normative questions concerning the illiberality of deportation powers as such" (27) and that the forced return of children remains a sensitive and controversial area of law.
First, the discourse about their violence is in fact a reflection of violence undertaken in the name of liberalism; it is a refraction of the West's own illiberality.
The Tea Party bemoans the "nanny" and "gun-control" state, but misses the deeply sinister ways in which that state has been captured by the forces of illiberality.
Weil thus forcefully reminds readers of the insecurity, instability, and illiberality of the years immediately following the revolution.
Today's collegians, having grown up in a world poisoned by the illiberality of political correctness, can almost be forgiven for their errors.