free rein


Definition of free rein 

: unrestricted liberty of action or decision

Examples of free rein in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In articles and speeches as well as formal opinions, Judge Kavanaugh has been a leading critic of Chevron deference, the courts’ practice of giving agencies free rein to interpret their own statutory authority. David B. Rivkin Jr. And Andrew M. Grossman, WSJ, "A Champion of Constitutional Safeguards," 9 July 2018 My response to uncertainty is to give my anxiety free rein: Make bad jokes in the morning, cry in the afternoon, and watch TV in the evenings. Neda Semnani,, "You have more in common with your partner's exes than you might think," 16 May 2018 Citi Bike will still have free rein of its territory in Manhattan and nearby neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens. New York Times, "New Era for Bike-Share in New York: Dockless and Electric Bikes," 3 July 2018 Mike Scioscia is giving him free rein on the basepaths, and Trout is taking full advantage. Staff,, "Nine Innings: Jason Heyward's Turning Point, Expansion Possibilities and Bryce Harper's Struggles," 18 June 2018 Time spent on marketing is never wasted, and downtime means time to give your creativity free rein. Houston Chronicle, "Small-business Q&A: How to stay productive in slow times," 17 June 2018 At Google, this free rein, in 2016, resulted in a video entitled The Selfish Ledger, which was leaked to the Verge earlier this month. Felix Salmon, WIRED, "The Creepy Rise of Real Companies Spawning Fictional Design," 30 May 2018 On top of that, they have been given free rein over their professional standards. The Economist, "What is an audit for?," 26 May 2018 And at companies where designers are held in high regard, they are often given a bit more free rein to indulge their imaginations rather than simply creating the next product. Felix Salmon, WIRED, "The Creepy Rise of Real Companies Spawning Fictional Design," 30 May 2018

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

1640, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

25 Sep 2018

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The first known use of free rein was in 1640

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