free lunch


Definition of free lunch

: something one does not have to pay for also : free ride

Examples of free lunch in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Yet the evidence continues to show that trying to increase low-skilled pay by political fiat isn’t a free lunch. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Hidden Costs in the ‘Fight for $15’," 7 Apr. 2019 President Trump says tariffs are a free lunch, or at worst the short-term price to open foreign markets. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "3% Growth, If We Can Keep It," 26 Oct. 2018 Just do it, but don’t pretend there is a free lunch. Robert Ham, WSJ, "Carbon Tax: An Optimal Solution or Folly?," 13 Jan. 2019 Phillips’ class had about a dozen students, who got a free lunch, free parking and a sample of Glucerna, a nutrition drink formulated for diabetics. Julie Appleby, Washington Post, "Hospitals Lure Diabetes Patients With Self-Care Courses, But Costs Can Weigh Heavily," 26 Apr. 2018 Everyone in the school, for example, receives a free lunch. Mark Davis, ajc, "Personal Journeys: A class by herself," 8 June 2018 In Philadelphia public and charter schools, around 130,000 free lunches were served per day in October; in July, 52,000 lunches were served per day at the city’s summer food sites. Alfred Lubrano,, "Fighting summer hunger block by block, lunch by lunch," 20 June 2018 The scholarships provide 50 percent off Day Camp fees for students who receive free lunches during the school year and 30 percent off for students who receive reduced cost lunches during the school year., "Free lunches available to children this summer," 19 June 2018 Fun benefits like boot camp classes, free lunch during busy season and massages make the company environment collegial and collaborative. Jessica Levy,, "Quality furniture helps students thrive at School Outfitters," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'free lunch.' 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 lunch

1900, in the meaning defined above

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free lunch




Statistics for free lunch

Last Updated

15 May 2019

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Time Traveler for free lunch

The first known use of free lunch was in 1900

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More Definitions for free lunch

free lunch


Financial Definition of free lunch

What It Is

Free lunch is a phrase used to describe getting something for nothing.

How It Works

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Why It Matters

There are many things in life that seem to come for free: clean air, elementary school, a good-looking wife for example. Although these things indeed do not come with a blatant financial price or transaction attached at the time of use, we all know that our taxes pay to keep the air clean and operate schools, for example. And of course, nobody gets a good-looking wife without paying for a few dinners and a ring.

Source: Investing Answers

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using a distributed computer network

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