free speech


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 By a three-to-one decision, the board found that the rat's use fell within the grounds of free speech. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, 22 July 2021 He is known for his reverence for legal precedent, for creating unlikely coalitions among the justices, and for being a strong advocate of free speech. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 15 July 2021 But enforcing Chinese censorship also risks a backlash from users and politicians in the West who see companies taking part in the suppression of free speech. Liza Lin, WSJ, 22 June 2021 The simple thing is the Constitution guarantees the rights of free speech. Nr Interview, National Review, 18 June 2021 Human rights lawyers and activists in both Nigeria and Uganda insist that these bans were unconstitutional violations of free speech. Odanga Madung, Wired, 25 June 2021 First Amendment guarantee of free speech prohibited extending officials’ authority outside the school. Andrew Chung, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 June 2021 In legal filings, Heidmann — who's acting as his own attorney — argues that the arrest violated his right to free speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. John Reinan, Star Tribune, 21 May 2021 District 5 candidate Hannah Smith described the plan as a hindrance to free speech while opponent Ed Hernandez said the community knows the plan won’t be implemented and should move past the fear-mongering. Talia Richman, Dallas News, 26 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for free speech

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The first known use of free speech was in 1765

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Dictionary Entries Near free speech

free/spare time

free speech

free spirit

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Statistics for free speech

Last Updated

25 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Free speech.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for free speech

free speech


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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