free ride

noun
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

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

free ride

intransitive verb

free rider

noun

Examples of free ride in a Sentence

  1. 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.

  2. companies getting a free ride at the taxpayer's expense

Recent Examples of free ride from the Web

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.

First Known Use of free ride

1882


FREE RIDE Defined for English Language Learners

free ride

noun

Definition of free ride for English Language Learners

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


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