AskDefine | Define emancipate

Dictionary Definition



1 give equal rights to; of women and minorities [syn: liberate]
2 free from slavery or servitude [syn: manumit]

User Contributed Dictionary


From Latin emancipatus, past participle of emancipare to emancipate; e + mancipare to transfer ownership in, from manceps purchaser, as being one who laid his hand on the thing bought; manus hand + capere to take. See manual, and capable.


  1. To set free from the power of another; to liberate; as:
  1. To free from any controlling influence, especially from anything which exerts undue or evil influence; as, to emancipate one from prejudices or error.


  1. Freed; set at liberty.

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Extensive Definition

Emancipation is a term used to describe various efforts to obtain political rights or equality, often for a specifically disenfranchised group, or more generally in discussion of such matters.
The word emancipation was in common use in political affairs of 18th and 19th century political discourse, as in Catholic or Jewish emancipation movements (see the emancipation page for more examples), while female suffrage was a major goal of women's emancipation movements.
Among others, Karl Marx discussed political emancipation in his 1844 essay "On the Jewish Question", although often in addition to (or in contrast with) the term human emancipation. Marx's views of political emancipation in this work were summarized by one writer as entailing "equal status of individual citizens in relation to the state, equality before the law, regardless of religion, property, or other “private” characteristics of individual persons."
"Political emancipation" as a phrase is less common in modern usage, especially outside academic, foreign or activist contexts. However, similar concepts may be referred to by other terms. For instance, in the United States the civil rights movement culminating in the Voting Rights Act of 1965, can be seen as further realization of events such as the Emancipation Proclamation and abolition of slavery a century earlier.

See also


emancipate in Arabic: تحرر
emancipate in Bulgarian: Еманципация
emancipate in Czech: Emancipace
emancipate in German: Emanzipation
emancipate in Spanish: Emancipación
emancipate in Hebrew: אמנציפציה
emancipate in Lithuanian: Emancipacija
emancipate in Hungarian: Emancipáció
emancipate in Macedonian: Еманципација
emancipate in Dutch: Emancipatie
emancipate in Russian: Эмансипация
emancipate in Serbian: Еманципација
emancipate in Finnish: Emansipaatio
emancipate in Slovak: Emancipácia

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

affranchise, deliver, discharge, disenthrall, enfranchise, free, let go, let loose, liberate, loose, loosen, manumit, release, rescue, set at large, set at liberty, set free, unbind, unchain, unfetter, unshackle
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