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

And the algorithms that Facebook uses to republish this in a dynamically created news feed or whenever, the software that governs that is Facebook’s free speech. Nr Staff, National Review, "The Editors Podcast: Restarts, Rallies, and Regulations," 22 June 2019 In a blog post, Buterin painted the legal dispute as being about censorship, free speech and truth. Olga Kharif, latimes.com, "Craig Wright says he invented bitcoin. Now he’s suing those who doubt him," 20 June 2019 The service is often compared to Alphabet's Project Shield, first announced in October 2013, which also provides free DDoS protection and other defenses to vulnerable humanitarian and free speech groups. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "Cloudflare’s Five-Year Project to Protect Nonprofits Online," 12 June 2019 The note also describes a series of four spin-off political action committees that will give directly to candidates who share the groups’ priorities on economic opportunity, free speech, free trade and immigration. Philip Elliott, Time, "Coming Soon to a Democratic Primary: Candidates Backed By Charles Koch," 7 June 2019 Journalists like to think of ourselves as the foot-soldiers of free speech, but lobbyists have as much of a claim on that. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "The Wrong Bogeymen," 19 June 2019 Britain acknowledges the guarantees of free speech in the European Convention on Human Rights. The Economist, "Australia’s surprising disregard for free speech," 15 June 2019 And Australia didn’t have enshrined rights like the U.S. First Amendment guarantee of free speech. Washington Post, "Australian opposition calls for review of press freedom," 12 June 2019 But an essential function of free speech is to invite dispute. A.c. Thompson, ProPublica, "Federal Judge Dismisses Charges Against 3 White Supremacists," 4 June 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of free speech

1765, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about free speech

Statistics for free speech

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for free speech

The first known use of free speech was in 1765

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on free speech

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with free speech

Comments on free speech

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!