free ride


Definition of free ride

1 : a benefit obtained at another's expense or without the usual cost or effort … a group of students who have been assigned to do a report where only one student cares, does all the work and the others go along for a free ride— Roger T. Johnson and David W. Johnson also : soft or easy treatment Generally speaking, the press has given Jacobson a free ride. Spy
2 : an arrangement (such as a scholarship) providing a student with tuition at no cost athletes getting a free ride at college College officials hope that the idea of a free ride to a new engineering school with lofty ambitions will attract a highly accomplished student body …— Jeffrey Mervis

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Other Words from free ride

free ride intransitive verb
free rider noun

Examples of free ride in a Sentence

The state university offered him a free ride for all four years of college—his football scholarship would cover tuition, room and board, and other expenses. companies getting a free ride at the taxpayer's expense

Recent Examples on the Web

The ride-hail company will also partner with two GOTV organizations, #VoteTogether and Democracy Works, to provide free rides in certain communities. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Uber is offering $10 off rides to polling locations on Election Day," 24 Oct. 2018 Proponents say that out-of-state truckers and drivers should not get a free ride on Connecticut highways, while opponents say that about 70 percent of highway drivers are Connecticut residents who would pay the lion’s share of the tolls. Christopher Keating,, "Tolls, Marijuana, Gambling And Budget Remain On General Assembly's Agenda," 8 Apr. 2018 Becky was still partial to Tech — the school had great academics, and the free ride wouldn’t hurt, given that the Malatares still had two more kids to put through high school and college. Abe Streep, New York Times, "What the Arlee Warriors Were Playing For," 4 Apr. 2018 Lyft is offering free rides to people in the areas. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "How to Help California Firefighters and Others Affected by the Wildfires," 12 Nov. 2018 For many Americans, voting can be difficult or inaccessible, but a free ride could solve a small part of the issue. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "Uber, Lyft, and more are offering discounted rides to the polls on Election Day," 6 Nov. 2018 The Trump Administration is showing that the days of this free ride may be over. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Naval Message for China," 22 Oct. 2018 To encourage riders to try Jump in an already-crowded scooter marketplace, Uber will offer free rides through October 7. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Uber launches electric scooter service," 3 Oct. 2018 Houston, Dallas, and Tampa transit agencies will also offer free rides, many just requiring a voter ID card before boarding. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Free rides to the polls test the transit and turnout connection," 1 Nov. 2018

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

1882, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for free ride

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for free ride

The first known use of free ride was in 1882

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More Definitions for free ride

free ride


English Language Learners Definition of free ride

: special treatment that involves giving away something that is valuable or expensive

More from Merriam-Webster on free ride

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with free ride

Comments on free ride

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a servile follower or underling

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