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Liberal vs. Moderate: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 5, 2023
Liberals typically advocate for progressive change and governmental intervention, while moderates seek a middle ground between liberal and conservative views, prioritizing balance and compromise.

Key Differences

Liberals tend to support progressive policies and reforms, endorsing changes that aim for social equality and inclusiveness, while moderates lean towards centrism, embracing views that combine aspects of both conservative and liberal philosophies, to maintain equilibrium and pragmatic solutions.
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Sep 25, 2023
Liberal ideologies often back expansive governmental roles in addressing societal issues, fostering the welfare state and regulated economies, whereas moderates typically advocate for measured governmental intervention, balancing regulation with individual freedoms and market-driven solutions.
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Sep 25, 2023
Liberals usually champion social justice, human rights, and environmental protection, with an emphasis on collective responsibility, contrasting moderates, who weigh individual rights and societal needs to cultivate harmonious coexistence and sustainable progress.
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Sep 25, 2023
Moderates, valuing compromise and dialogue, usually resist extreme viewpoints, navigating between rigid ideologies to formulate policies that are broadly acceptable and implementable, while liberals may pursue transformative approaches, seeking to rectify systemic inequalities and injustice through robust actions.
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Sep 25, 2023

Comparison Chart

Philosophical Stance

Progressive and transformative
Balanced and centrist
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Governmental Role

Advocates for more intervention
Supports measured intervention
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Policy Preference

Favors transformative policies
Prefers balanced policies
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Sep 25, 2023

Approach to Change

Seeks rapid and comprehensive change
Advocates for gradual and balanced change
Janet White
Sep 25, 2023

Core Values

Social equality and collective responsibility
Compromise and individual freedoms
Janet White
Sep 25, 2023

Liberal and Moderate Definitions

Liberal

Embracing progressive, broad-minded policies.
The liberal politician promoted policies favoring environmental protection.
Sara Rehman
Sep 25, 2023
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Moderate

Advocating for restraint to avoid extremeness.
The committee recommended a moderate approach to the new policy implementation.
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Sep 25, 2023

Liberal

Favoring reform, open to new ideas, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; not bound by traditional thinking; broad-minded.
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

Average in amount, intensity, or degree.
The project had a moderate level of difficulty.
Harlon Moss
Sep 25, 2023

Liberal

Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

Being within reasonable limits; not excessive or extreme
A moderate price.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

Not violent or subject to extremes; mild or calm; temperate
A moderate climate.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Tending to give freely; generous
A liberal benefactor.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

Of medium or average quantity or extent.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Generous in amount; ample
A liberal serving of potatoes.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

Of limited or average quality; mediocre.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Not strict or literal; loose or approximate
A liberal translation.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

Opposed to radical or extreme views or measures, especially in politics or religion.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Of, relating to, or based on the traditional arts and sciences of a college or university curriculum
A liberal education.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

One who holds or champions moderate views or opinions, especially in politics or religion.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

(Archaic) Permissible or appropriate for a person of free birth; befitting a lady or gentleman.
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Moderate

To cause to be less extreme, intense, or violent.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

(Obsolete) Morally unrestrained; licentious.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

To preside over
She was chosen to moderate the convention.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

A person with liberal ideas or opinions.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

To become less extreme, intense, or violent; abate.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Liberal A member of a Liberal political party.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

To act as a moderator.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Pertaining to those arts and sciences the study of which is considered to provide general knowledge, as opposed to vocational/occupational, technical or mechanical training.
He had a full education studying the liberal arts.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

Not excessive; acting in moderation
Moderate language
A moderate Calvinist
Travelling at a moderate speed
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Generous; permitting liberty; willing to give unsparingly.
He was liberal with his compliments.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

More than mild, less than severe
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Ample, abundant; generous in quantity.
Add a liberal sprinkling of salt.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

Mediocre
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

(obsolete) Unrestrained, licentious.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

Average priced; standard-deal
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Widely open to new ideas, willing to depart from established opinions or conventions; permissive.
Her parents had liberal ideas about child-rearing.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

Not violent or rigorous; temperate; mild; gentle.
A moderate winter
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

(politics) Open to political or social changes and reforms associated with either classical or modern liberalism.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

Having an intermediate position between liberal and conservative.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

One with liberal views, supporting individual liberty (see Wikipedia's article on Liberalism).
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

One who holds an intermediate position between extremes, as in politics.
While the moderates usually propose political compromise, it's often only achieved when the extremists allow them so
The moderates are the natural advocates of ecumenism against the fanatics of their churches.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

(US) Someone with progressive or left-wing views; one with a left-wing ideology.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

One of a party in Scottish Church history dominant in the 18th century, lax in doctrine and discipline, but intolerant of evangelicalism and popular rights. It caused the secessions of 1733 and 1761, and its final resultant was the Disruption of 1843.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

A supporter of any of several liberal parties.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

(transitive) To reduce the excessiveness of (something)
To moderate rage, action, desires, etc.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

(UK) One who favors individual voting rights, human and civil rights, and laissez-faire markets also called "classical liberal"; compare libertarian.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

(intransitive) To become less excessive
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Liberal

Free by birth; hence, befitting a freeman or gentleman; refined; noble; independent; free; not servile or mean; as, a liberal ancestry; a liberal spirit; liberal arts or studies.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

(transitive) To preside over (something) as a moderator
To moderate a synod
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Bestowing in a large and noble way, as a freeman; generous; bounteous; open-handed; as, a liberal giver.
Infinitely good, and of his goodAs liberal and free as infinite.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

(intransitive) To act as a moderator; to assist in bringing to compromise
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Bestowed in a large way; hence, more than sufficient; abundant; bountiful; ample; profuse; as, a liberal gift; a liberal discharge of matter or of water.
His wealth doth warrant a liberal dower.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

To supply with a moderator substance that decreases the speed of neutrons in a nuclear reactor and hence increases likelihood of fission.
A graphite-moderated reactor
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Not strict or rigorous; not confined or restricted to the literal sense; free; as, a liberal translation of a classic, or a liberal construction of law or of language.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

Kept within due bounds; observing reasonable limits; not excessive, extreme, violent, or rigorous; limited; restrained
A number of moderate members managed . . . to obtain a majority in a thin house.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Not narrow or contracted in mind; not selfish; enlarged in spirit; catholic.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

Not violent or rigorous; temperate; mild; gentle; as, a moderate winter.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Free to excess; regardless of law or moral restraint; licentious.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

One of a party in the Church of Scotland in the 18th century, and part of the 19th, professing moderation in matters of church government, in discipline, and in doctrine.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Not bound by orthodox tenets or established forms in political or religious philosophy; independent in opinion; not conservative; friendly to great freedom in the constitution or administration of government; having tendency toward democratic or republican, as distinguished from monarchical or aristocratic, forms; as, liberal thinkers; liberal Christians; the Liberal party.
I confess I see nothing liberal in this " order of thoughts," as Hobbes elsewhere expresses it.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

To restrain from excess of any kind; to reduce from a state of violence, intensity, or excess; to keep within bounds; to make temperate; to lessen; to allay; to repress; to temper; to qualify; as, to moderate rage, action, desires, etc.; to moderate heat or wind.
By its astringent quality, it moderates the relaxing quality of warm water.
To moderate stiff minds disposed to strive.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

One who favors greater freedom in political or religious matters; an opponent of the established systems; a reformer; in English politics, a member of the Liberal party, so called. Cf. Whig.
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

To preside over, direct, or regulate, as a public meeting or a discussion; as, to moderate a synod; to moderate a debate.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

A person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

To become less violent, severe, rigorous, or intense; as, the wind has moderated.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

A person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

To preside as a moderator.
Dr. Barlow [was] engaged . . . to moderate for him in the divinity disputation.
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Showing or characterized by broad-mindedness;
A broad political stance
Generous and broad sympathies
A liberal newspaper
Tolerant of his opponent's opinions
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

A person who takes a position in the political center
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Having political or social views favoring reform and progress
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

Preside over;
John moderated the discussion
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

Make less fast or intense;
Moderate your speed
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Given or giving freely;
Was a big tipper
The bounteous goodness of God
Bountiful compliments
A freehanded host
A handsome allowance
Saturday's child is loving and giving
A liberal backer of the arts
A munificent gift
Her fond and openhanded grandfather
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

Lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits;
Moderate your alcohol intake
Hold your tongue
Hold your temper
Control your anger
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Not literal;
A loose interpretation of what she had been told
A free translation of the poem
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

Make less severe or harsh;
He moderated his tone when the students burst out in tears
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Supporting governmental intervention in economic and social affairs.
Liberal leaders often advocate for comprehensive welfare programs.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 25, 2023

Moderate

Make less strong or intense; soften;
Tone down that aggressive letter
The author finally tamed some of his potentially offensive statements
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Advocating for social equality and human rights.
The liberal activist fought relentlessly for equal rights for all citizens.
Sara Rehman
Sep 25, 2023

Moderate

Restrain or temper
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Open to new ideas and willing to discard traditional values.
The liberal professor encouraged students to question established norms.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 25, 2023

Moderate

Being within reasonable or average limits; not excessive or extreme;
Moderate prices
A moderate income
A moderate fine
Moderate demands
A moderate estimate
A moderate eater
Moderate success
A kitchen of moderate size
The X-ray showed moderate enlargement of the heart
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Apr 03, 2023

Liberal

Generous in giving.
He was liberal in sharing his resources with the less fortunate.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 25, 2023

Moderate

Not extreme;
A moderate penalty
Temperate in his response to criticism
Sawaira Riaz
Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

Marked by avoidance of extravagance or extremes;
Moderate in his demands
Restrained in his response
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Apr 03, 2023

Moderate

Holding balanced and centrist views.
The moderate senator worked to find common ground between opposing parties.
Harlon Moss
Sep 25, 2023

Moderate

Neither excessive nor inadequate; reasonable.
The leader took a moderate stance on the controversial issue.
Janet White
Sep 25, 2023

Moderate

Avoiding extremes of behavior or expression.
The journalist had a moderate tone while discussing sensitive topics.
Janet White
Sep 25, 2023

FAQs

What is the main difference between liberal and moderate?

Liberals advocate for progressive change and governmental intervention, while moderates seek a balanced, centrist approach, combining aspects of liberal and conservative views.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 25, 2023

Do liberals support more government intervention than moderates?

Generally, yes; liberals typically favor more government intervention in economic and social affairs compared to moderates.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 25, 2023

Are all liberals progressive?

While liberalism is associated with progressivism, not all liberals may align with all progressive views.
Harlon Moss
Sep 25, 2023

Do liberals prioritize social equality?

Yes, liberals often prioritize social equality, advocating for policies that address disparities and injustices.
Janet White
Sep 25, 2023

Is a moderate approach slower in implementing changes?

A moderate approach may implement changes more gradually, focusing on balance and consensus.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 25, 2023

Can a person be both liberal and moderate?

Yes, an individual can hold liberal views on some issues and moderate views on others, reflecting a nuanced perspective.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 25, 2023

Can liberal policies be transformative?

Yes, liberal policies can be transformative, aiming to address and rectify systemic issues.
Sara Rehman
Sep 25, 2023

Can liberal views be conservative on certain issues?

Yes, individuals with liberal views can have conservative opinions on specific subjects, reflecting diverse thought.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 25, 2023

Are moderates indecisive?

No, being moderate is about seeking balance and compromise between extremes, not indecisiveness.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 25, 2023

Are moderates always in the middle of the political spectrum?

Generally, yes; moderates tend to hold views that are between liberal and conservative extremes.
Janet White
Sep 25, 2023

Do moderates resist change?

Moderates do not resist change per se but prefer gradual and balanced changes to radical shifts.
Janet White
Sep 25, 2023

Do moderates value individual freedoms?

Yes, moderates often value individual freedoms and weigh them against societal needs.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 25, 2023

Can moderates have strong political convictions?

Absolutely, moderates can have strong convictions about balance, compromise, and nuanced perspectives.
Janet White
Sep 25, 2023

Do liberal and moderate views contribute to democratic discourse?

Yes
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 25, 2023

Are liberals open to discarding traditional values?

Liberals are generally more open to questioning and revising traditional values to accommodate evolving societal norms.
Janet White
Sep 25, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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