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 Relatives called Mexico's 911 emergency number, which dispatches free city ambulances, but somehow a pirate ambulance showed up first. Mark Stevenson, Star Tribune, "Mexico's pirate ambulances profiteering in the pandemic," 16 Sep. 2020 More Throughline: 13 steps to SF becoming a car-free city. Taylor Kate Brown,, "MicroClimates: The story of the century," 25 Aug. 2020 This week’s roundup of democracy advocates including publisher Jimmy Lai is the latest assault on the once-free city, and hardliners in Beijing see Taiwan as the next prize. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump, Biden and Taiwan," 14 Aug. 2020 As Beijing brings the once-thriving, free city to heel, the West does nothing. David Harsanyi, National Review, "R.I.P. Hong Kong," 12 Aug. 2020 The protesters have created a police-free city within Seattle, and local leaders have not signaled any intention of regaining control of the area. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "Trump hits Seattle mayor for allowing 'takeover' by 'terrorists'," 12 June 2020 Still, some proposals, such as a tax on meat or a car-free city center, remain controversial and make some consumers and producers uneasy. Francine Lacqua,, "German Green Sides With Trump in Bashing Merkel’s Austerity," 8 May 2020 While a mostly-car-free city may look uncanny in the middle of a global pandemic, there used to be a time when that was the norm. Cassandre Coyer, The Christian Science Monitor, "Boston’s car-free streets offer glimpse of low-carbon future," 24 Apr. 2020 Nirenberg said the decision Friday to lift the requirement that people get a doctor’s referral before getting free city COVID-19 testing has helped dramatically increase testing numbers. Bruce Selcraig,, "San Antonio area sees increase in novel coronavirus cases," 5 Apr. 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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Last Updated

26 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Free city.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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