academic freedom


: freedom to teach or to learn without interference (as by government officials)

Examples of academic freedom in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The conservative nonprofit says its mission is devoted to advancing free expression and academic freedom on campuses. Katherine Itoh, NBC News, 29 Mar. 2024 Tenure offers protection for academic freedom, the principle that professors creating knowledge and expressing ideas should be free to do so without the threat of intimidation or retaliation. Kelly Meyerhofer, Journal Sentinel, 28 Mar. 2024 Don’t think armband insignias, tanks in the streets, and martial law; think lawfare, sophisticated cronyism, surveillance, and counter-majoritarian restrictions on reproductive rights and voting access and academic freedom. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, 27 Mar. 2024 Many universities have since taken an aggressive stance against some forms of speech and protest, moves often decried by academic freedom groups. Vimal Patel, New York Times, 24 Mar. 2024 And universities enjoyed what has come to be known as academic freedom, the ability for those in higher education to operate free from external pressure. Pamela Paul, The Mercury News, 15 Mar. 2024 Borlase alleged that San Francisco State President Lynn Mahoney and CSU Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Leora Freedman believed the professor’s actions were protected under academic freedom and asked Borlase to halt the investigation. Colleen Shalby, Los Angeles Times, 13 Mar. 2024 In reality, the state of the state is neglected, having been sacrificed on the altar of political expediency through a series of culture-war sideshows — attacks on academic freedom, school books, transgender teens and LGBTQ people in general. Sun Sentinel Editorial Board, Sun Sentinel, 9 Jan. 2024 Here’s hoping that universities will have the courage to level up on academic freedom rather than down. Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker, 17 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'academic freedom.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1863, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of academic freedom was in 1863

Dictionary Entries Near academic freedom

Cite this Entry

“Academic freedom.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

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