liberal arts


liberal arts
1. the academic course of instruction at a college intended to provide general knowledge and comprising the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences, as opposed to professional or technical subjects.
2. (during the Middle Ages) studies comprising the quadrivium and trivium, including arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music, grammar, rhetoric, and logic.
[1745-55; trans. of L artes liberales works befitting a free man]

* * *

College or university curriculum aimed at imparting general knowledge and developing general intellectual capacities, in contrast to a professional, vocational, or technical curriculum.

In Classical antiquity, the term designated the education proper to a freeman (Latin liber, "free") as opposed to a slave. In the medieval Western university, the seven liberal arts were grammar, rhetoric, and logic (the trivium) and geometry, arithmetic, music, and astronomy (the quadrivium). In modern colleges and universities, the liberal arts include the study of literature, languages, philosophy, history, mathematics, and science.

* * *

      college or university curriculum aimed at imparting general knowledge and developing general intellectual capacities in contrast to a professional, vocational, or technical curriculum. In the medieval European university the seven liberal arts were grammar, rhetoric, and logic (the trivium) and geometry, arithmetic, music, and astronomy (the quadrivium). In modern colleges and universities the liberal arts include the study of literature, languages, philosophy, history, mathematics, and science as the basis of a general, or liberal, education. Sometimes the liberal-arts curriculum is described as comprehending study of three main branches of knowledge: the humanities (literature, language, philosophy, the fine arts, and history), the physical and biological sciences and mathematics, and the social sciences.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • liberal arts — pl.n. [transl. of L artes liberales, lit., arts befitting a freeman: so named in contrast to artes serviles, lower (lit., servile) arts, and because open to study only by freemen (L liberi); in later use understood as “arts becoming a gentleman”] …   English World dictionary

  • liberal arts — late 14c., translating L. artes liberales; the seven attainments directed to intellectual enlargement, not immediate practical purpose, and thus deemed worthy of a free man (LIBERAL (Cf. liberal) in this sense is opposed to servile or mechanical) …   Etymology dictionary

  • liberal arts — n [plural] especially AmE the areas of learning which develop someone s ability to think and increase their general knowledge, rather than developing technical skills …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • liberal arts — noun plural school or college subjects that give students a general education and teach them to think, rather than those subjects that develop practical skills …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Liberal arts — The term liberal arts refers to a particular type of educational curriculum broadly defined as a classical education.HistoryDefinitionanchors|Seven liberal arts|The seven liberal artsThe term liberal arts is a college or curriculum aimed at… …   Wikipedia

  • liberal arts — (seven liberal arts)    The seven liberal arts were the basis of a general secular education throughout medieval western Europe. Based on a system dating back to classical times, the liberal arts were made up of the trivium essentially what… …   Encyclopedia of medieval literature

  • Liberal Arts — Septem artes liberales aus Hortus Deliciarum der Herrad von Landsberg (um 1180) Die Sieben freien Künste (lat. septem artes liberales, seltener auch studia liberalia) sind ein in der Antike entstandener Kanon von sieben Studienfächern, d …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • liberal arts — noun studies intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills (rather than occupational or professional skills) (Freq. 1) the college of arts and sciences • Syn: ↑humanistic discipline, ↑humanities, ↑arts • Hypernyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • liberal arts — N PLURAL At a university or college, liberal arts courses are on subjects such as history or literature rather than science, law, medicine, or business. [AM] There has been a decline in enrollment in liberal arts courses in favor of highly… …   English dictionary

  • liberal arts — noun Liberal arts is used before these nouns: ↑college …   Collocations dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.