free thought


: unorthodox attitudes or beliefs
specifically : 18th century deism

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Its founders envisaged it as a bastion of free thought. Los Angeles Times, 5 Feb. 2023 Its founders envisaged it as a bastion of free thought. Jenny Jarvie, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Feb. 2023 Their efforts represent a kind of censorship that violates not only the right to free expression, but also the innermost sanctum of free thought. Elyssa Koren, National Review, 5 Dec. 2022 The death of free time, certainly, but not of free thought. Honor Jones, The Atlantic, 20 Oct. 2022 For his fans and friends, the fact that Rushdie was attacked in such a quiet place dedicated to the art of writing and free thought is certainly reason for pause. CBS News, 14 Aug. 2022 That's because everything Xi has implemented at home has been to stifle free thought, not unleash it. Ian Johnson, CNN, 9 Mar. 2022 The Biden administration is governing from the far-left, ignoring the problems of working-class Americans while pushing an agenda that stifles free speech, free thought, and economic freedom. Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY, 28 Feb. 2022 The dissident movement that took the Red Square demonstrators as an inspiration, though never large in numbers, was a powerful generator of free thought and possibility. David Remnick, The New Yorker, 23 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'free thought.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1711, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of free thought was in 1711

Dictionary Entries Near free thought

Cite this Entry

“Free thought.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Challenging Standardized Test Words, Vol. 2

  • a pencil broken in half on top of a test answer sheet
  • The business’s new computer system proved not to be a panacea.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?