• The fact or process of being set free from legal, social, or political restrictions; liberation.
  • The freeing of someone from slavery.

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Example Sentences

“Juneteenth commemorates the 1865 day when the last enslaved people in the United States received news of their emancipation.”

“History books document many occurrences of emancipation from religious and political restrictions.”

“The Senate recently voted to build a monument to honor the emancipation of the state’s enslaved people.”

Word Origin

Latin, mid-17th century

Why this word?

The basic definition of the word “emancipation” is “liberation,” but the most famous use of the word is almost undoubtedly in the title of the Emancipation Proclamation. The announcement, made by President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War on September 22, 1862, emancipated all enslaved people in states still engaged in rebellion against the Union. “Emancipation” was in the title, but it was nowhere in the text of the document. Instead, President Lincoln wrote: “…I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free.”

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