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 The first 30 guests who register for the tour will receive free lunch and a trolley ride to each location, courtesy of the city of Akron. Megan Becka, cleveland, "Greater Akron Green Energy Ohio Tour set for Sept. 28," 23 Sep. 2019 For the third year in a row, elders from the Old Rondo community will be recognized with a free lunch and special stage appearance during the Rondo Days festival and parade. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "Neighborhood elders to be recognized Saturday at Rondo Days," 19 July 2019 The multi-billion-dollar chicken empire offered free lunches for the teachers at Lusher High School. al, "School turns down free Chick-fil-A out of respect to LGBTQ staffers," 12 Oct. 2019 On top of that, about 500,000 children could lose access to free lunch programs that are linked to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the formal name for the food-stamp initiative. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Why the U.S. may soon spend more on its debt than on kids," 17 Sep. 2019 Currently, Colorado automatically enrolls kids whose families receive food stamps into the free lunch program. Meg Wingerter, The Denver Post, "Proposed federal rule would end food assistance for 33,000 in Colorado," 19 Aug. 2019 Many put little capital at risk, relying on the free lunch of options. Roger Lowenstein, Washington Post, "A reexamination of ownership in the age of the public corporation," 30 Aug. 2019 So what programs produced these kinds of free lunches? Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Government programs usually cost money. These ones actually make money.," 30 July 2019 Webster built her first studio in Tijuana near a café where new arrivals often stop for legal advice and a free lunch. Nina Strochlic, National Geographic, "In Tijuana, a street studio attracts migrants and locals," 2 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for free lunch

Time Traveler

The first known use of free lunch was in 1900

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Statistics for free lunch

Last Updated

27 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Free lunch.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 8 December 2019.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on free lunch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with free lunch

Comments on free lunch

What made you want to look up free lunch? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to constrict the range or activity of

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