1

free

play
adjective \ˈfrē\

Definition of free

freer

;

freest

  1. 1a :  having the legal and political rights of a citizen setting the slave freeb :  enjoying civil and political liberty free citizensc :  enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination This is a free country.d :  enjoying personal freedom :  not subject to the control or domination of another You are free to do whatever you want.

  2. 2a :  not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being :  choosing or capable of choosing for itself a player free to negotiate a contract with any teamb :  determined by the choice of the actor or performer free actionsc :  made, done, or given voluntarily or spontaneously gave his free consent

  3. 3a :  relieved from or lacking something and especially something unpleasant or burdensome free from pain a speech free of political rhetoric —often used in combination error-freeb :  not bound, confined, or detained by force The prisoner is now free.

  4. 4a :  having no trade restrictions duty-free importsb :  not subject to government regulation free competitionc of foreign exchange :  not subject to restriction or official control

  5. 5a :  having no obligations (as to work) or commitments I'll be free this eveningb :  not taken up with commitments or obligations a free evening

  6. 6 :  having a scope not restricted by qualification a free variable

  7. 7a :  not obstructed, restricted, or impeded free to leaveb :  not being used or occupied waved with his free handc :  not hampered or restricted in its normal operation

  8. 8a :  not fastened the free end of the ropeb :  not confined to a particular position or place in twelve-tone music, no note is wholly free for it must hold its place in the series — J. L. Stewartc :  capable of moving or turning in any direction a free particled :  performed without apparatus free tumblinge :  done with artificial aids (such as pitons) used only for protection against falling and not for support a free climb

  9. 9a :  not parsimonious free spendingb :  outspoken is free in his criticismc :  availing oneself of something without stint she's very free with her moneyd :  frank, opene :  overly familiar or forward in action or attitude a young man who had been much too free with the ladies of the town — Harvey Grahamf :  licentious inexcusably free talk before the ladies

  10. 10 :  not costing or charging anything a free school a free ticket

  11. 11a (1) :  not united with, attached to, combined with, or mixed with something else :  separate free ores a free surface of a bodily part (2) :  freestanding a free columnb :  chemically uncombined free oxygen free acidsc :  not permanently attached but able to move about a free electron in a metald :  capable of being used alone as a meaningful linguistic form the word hats is a free form — compare 5bound 7

  12. 12a :  not literal or exact free translationb :  not restricted by or conforming to conventional forms free skating

  13. 13 :  favorable —used of a wind blowing from a direction more than six points from dead ahead

  14. 14 :  not allowing slavery was admitted to the Union as a free state

  15. 15 :  open to all comers that most pleasurable of Anglo-Saxon pastimes, a free fight — Winston Churchill

freeness

play \ˈfrē-nəs\ noun

for free

  1. :  without charge

Examples of free in a Sentence

  1. They're giving out free tickets to the show.

  2. The school newsletter is free.

  3. After 10 years in jail, he was finally a free man.

  4. The animal struggled to get free of the trap.

  5. His legs became caught in the net, and he was unable to get himself free.

Recent Examples of free from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'free.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Can Something Be "For free?"

The word free is often encountered on the heels of the word for, and this combination sets some people’s teeth on edge. The main objection to the phrase for free is that, in this instance, free functions as an adverb rather than a noun and therefore should not be in the intimate company of the preposition for. Following this line of reasoning, a more correct phrasing would be to say that something is offered for nothing, for no charge, or some other combination of preposition + noun. Unfortunately for critics of the expression, English users do not agree. Despite its recent adoption in the mid-20th century and its informality, for free is in widespread use and is generally accepted in standard speech and writing.

Origin and Etymology of free

Middle English, from Old English frēo; akin to Old High German frī free, Welsh rhydd, Sanskrit priya own, dear

Synonym Discussion of free

free, independent, sovereign, autonomous mean not subject to the rule or control of another. free stresses the complete absence of external rule and the full right to make all of one's own decisions. you're free to do as you like independent implies a standing alone; applied to a state it implies lack of connection with any other having power to interfere with its citizens, laws, or policies. the colony's struggle to become independent sovereign stresses the absence of a superior power and implies supremacy within a thing's own domain or sphere. separate and sovereign armed services autonomous stresses independence in matters pertaining to self-government. in this denomination each congregation is regarded as autonomous

2

free

verb

Definition of free

freed

;

freeing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to cause to be freeb :  to relieve or rid of what restrains, confines, restricts, or embarrasses free a person from debt —often used with up free up space on the hard drivec :  disentangle, clear

  3. 2 obsolete :  banish

freer

noun

Examples of free in a Sentence

  1. The gunman freed two of the hostages.

  2. The animals were freed from their cages.

  3. His legs became tangled in the net, and he was unable to free himself.

  4. He was unable to free his legs from the net.

  5. The animal struggled to free itself from the trap.

  6. Hiring an assistant has freed him to spend more time with his family.

  7. She encourages her students to free their imaginations.

Recent Examples of free from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'free.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of free

see 1free

Synonym Discussion of free

free, release, liberate, emancipate, manumit mean to set loose from restraint or constraint. free implies a usually permanent removal from whatever binds, confines, entangles, or oppresses. freed the animals from their cages release suggests a setting loose from confinement, restraint, or a state of pressure or tension, often without implication of permanent liberation. released his anger on a punching bag liberate stresses particularly the resulting state of liberty. liberated their country from the tyrant emancipate implies the liberation of a person from subjection or domination. labor-saving devices emancipated us from household drudgery manumit implies emancipation from slavery. the document manumitted the slaves

3

free

adverb

Definition of free

  1. 1 :  in a free manner

  2. 2 :  without charge

  3. 3 :  with the wind more than six points from dead ahead sailing free

Examples of free in a Sentence

  1. The gate opened, and the animals ran free.

  2. Buy one, get one free.

Origin and Etymology of free

see 1free


FREE Defined for English Language Learners

free

play
adjective

Definition of free for English Language Learners

  • : not costing any money

  • : not held as a slave or prisoner

  • : not physically held by something

free

verb

Definition of free for English Language Learners

  • : to release (a person or animal) from a prison, cage, etc.

  • : to release (someone or something) from being physically held or blocked

  • : to cause or allow (someone or something) to stop having or being affected by something unpleasant, painful, or unwanted

free

adverb

Definition of free for English Language Learners

  • : in a free way

  • : without charge : at no cost


FREE Defined for Kids

1

free

play
adjective \ˈfrē\

Definition of free for Students

freer

\ˈfrē-ər\;

freest

\ˈfrē-əst\
  1. 1 :  given without charge a free ticket

  2. 2 :  having liberty :  not being a slave or prisoner free citizens

  3. 3 :  not controlled by a harsh ruler or laws a free country

  4. 4 :  not physically held by something … his utmost efforts could lift the gate free. — Dick King-Smith, Pigs Might Fly

  5. 5 :  not having or suffering from something unpleasant, unwanted, or painful free from worry

  6. 6 :  not held back by fear or uncertainty Feel free to ask questions.

  7. 7 :  not blocked The road was free of traffic.

  8. 8 :  not required to be doing something See me when you're free.

  9. 9 :  not used or occupied a free seat

  10. 10 :  not combined free oxygen

freely

adverb

2

free

play
verb

Definition of free for Students

freed

;

freeing

  1. :  to let go or set free


3

free

play
adverb

Definition of free for Students

  1. 1 :  in a free manner :  freely They let their dog run free.

  2. 2 :  without charge Buy two, get one free.


Medical Dictionary

free

play
adjective \ˈfrē\

Medical Definition of free

freer

;

freest

  1. 1a:  relieved from or lacking something and especially something unpleasant or burdensome free from painb:  not bound or confined by force upon opening the skull a considerable amount of free blood is noted—H. G. Armstrong

  2. 2a (1):  not united with, attached to, combined with, or mixed with something else a free surface of a bodily part (2):  having the bare axon exposed in tissue a free nerve endingb:  not chemically combined free calciumc:  not permanently attached but able to move about a free electron in a metal

  3. 3:  having all living connections severed before removal to another site a free graft research…in free flap transfers—B. R. Alford


Law Dictionary

1

free

adjective

Legal Definition of free

  1. 1a :  having the legal and political rights of a citizen b :  enjoying civil and political liberty a free people c :  enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent States — Declaration of Independence d :  not subject to the control or domination of another

  2. 2 :  made or done as a matter of choice and right :  not compelled or restricted no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof — U.S. Constitution amend. I a free and voluntary confession

  3. 3 :  relieved from or lacking a burden (as a lien or other encumbrance on title) a buyer in ordinary course of business…takes free of a security interest created by the buyer's seller — Uniform Commercial Code

  4. 4 :  not bound, confined, or detained by force free on bail

  5. 5a :  having no trade restrictions b :  not subject to government regulation c of foreign exchange :  not subject to restriction or official control

  6. 6 :  not costing or charging anything

freely

adverb

for free

  1. :  without charge


2

free

transitive verb

Legal Definition of free

freed

freeing

  1. 1 :  to cause to be free

  2. 2 :  to relieve or rid of what constrains, confines, restricts, or burdens



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