free speech

noun

Definition of free speech

: speech that is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution also : the right to such speech an unconstitutional restraint on free speech Nat'l Law Jour.

Examples of free speech in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Wen was born in Shanghai to a family of political dissidents who rebelled against the communist regime’s crackdown on free speech. Kayla Webley Adler, Marie Claire, "The New President Of Planned Parenthood Has Big Plans For The Future," 14 Mar. 2019 However, because most games are played on private platforms, not open public forums, expectations of privacy or free speech would largely not apply. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Intel hopes to clean up toxic speech in game chat with AI and machine learning," 20 Mar. 2019 Students For Liberty is a global movement that stands up for free markets, free speech and individual liberty. WSJ, "‘Less Marx, More Mises’ Shows Development," 19 Mar. 2019 The journalist had been outspoken about the crackdown on free speech and human rights in his country after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler (often referred to as MBS), ascended to power in 2017. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Time’s 2018 Person of the Year is Jamal Khashoggi and other “Guardians” of the truth," 11 Dec. 2018 Pro-Palestinian groups say the decision attacks free speech and civil rights. Fox News, "Feds reopening anti-Semitism probe at Rutgers University," 12 Sep. 2018 Opponents say Rubio’s measure infringes on free speech. Lisa Mascaro, The Seattle Times, "Dems block Senate bill on Israel boycotts, citing shutdown," 8 Jan. 2019 In both cases, the ACLU has argued that the prohibition violates a person's constitutional right to free speech. Julia O'donoghue, NOLA.com, "John Bel Edwards says Louisiana won't do business with companies that boycott Israel," 22 May 2018 Google has previously cancelled plans to expand its business to China in 2010, over concerns about the government’s involvement in cyberattacks and regulations on citizens’ free speech. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "Google workers just publicly called on the tech giant to end plans for a censored search product in China," 27 Nov. 2018

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

1765, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for free speech

Last Updated

28 Apr 2019

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The first known use of free speech was in 1765

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More Definitions for free speech

free speech

noun

Legal Definition of free speech

1 : speech that is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution setting off an alarm bell is not free speech— A. M. Dershowitz
2 : freedom of speech an unconstitutional restraint on free speechNational Law Journal

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