free city


Definition of free city

: a self-governing city or city-state usually possessing sovereign power: such as
a : an Italian city-state of the 11th century and later
b : certain cities of Germany since the 13th century having free institutions
c : a territorial unit (such as Danzig, formerly) comprising a city and often adjacent areas that functions as a semiautonomous political entity under the authority of an international organization

Examples of free city in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The fall bird migration season is getting underway and Plano residents can learn how to attract more birds to their yard with a free city seminar called All About Birds. Teri Webster, Dallas News, 7 Sep. 2021 The Underground Railroad was born in Cincinnati during the years that Stowe lived there, reflecting Cincinnati’s status as the free city closest to slave territory. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, 14 June 2021 At one board meeting last December, Prince Mohammed brushed aside urban planners who offered other, simpler plans for a pollution-free city, telling them to think bolder. Rory Jones, WSJ, 1 May 2021 This was three decades after free city delivery began. Tom Dillard, Arkansas Online, 14 Mar. 2021 Cosmopolitanism was the creed of the Stoic philosophers who lived in the first and second centuries A.D., when the world-spanning Roman Empire had replaced the free city-states of Greece. Steven B. Smith, WSJ, 21 Jan. 2021 Deterrence enabled West Berlin to survive as a free city despite a political status even more ambiguous than Taiwan’s and a truly indefensible military position. Paul Wolfowitz, WSJ, 13 Oct. 2020 Relatives called Mexico's 911 emergency number, which dispatches free city ambulances, but somehow a pirate ambulance showed up first. Mark Stevenson, Star Tribune, 16 Sep. 2020 More Throughline: 13 steps to SF becoming a car-free city. Taylor Kate Brown,, 25 Aug. 2020

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

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First Known Use of free city

1575, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for free city

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The first known use of free city was in 1575

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Dictionary Entries Near free city

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Last Updated

15 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Free city.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

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