free-float·​ing ˈfrē-ˈflō-tiŋ How to pronounce free-floating (audio)
: floating freely
free-floating vegetation
: lacking specific attachment, direction, or purpose
free-floating ideas
: felt as an emotion without apparent cause
free-floating anxiety

Examples of free-floating in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Outside that context, and free-floating on social media, this content attracted the ire of those who specifically study cannabis and its effects on the brain and body. Miles Klee, Rolling Stone, 8 May 2024 But after that, the balloon will be at the mercy of the wind, free-floating for up to 35 minutes and ideally passing through the path of totality. Carlyn Kranking, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Apr. 2024 These places have long been associated with boredom, with a vague, free-floating malaise. Julie Beck, The Atlantic, 2 Apr. 2024 Researchers and clinicians working with combat veterans have shown how avoiding thinking or talking about an overwhelming and painful event can lead to free-floating sadness and anger, all of which can become attached to present circumstances. George Makari, The Atlantic, 21 Mar. 2024 In hard tap water samples that contained 300 milligrams of CaCO3 per liter of water, the researchers were able to use the boil-and-filter technique to remove up to 80% of free-floating NMPs, including polystyrene, polyethylene, and polypropylene.1 Soft tap water samples were trickier. Alyssa Hui, Verywell Health, 14 Mar. 2024 The mix turned out to be a soup of free-floating lymphoma cells that were shed by the tumor. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2024 The free-floating agony of Lorna’s visions coalesce around cold, hard facts, and the murder mysteries take a backseat to the larger conspiracy that links them — so much that by the time the killers are revealed in the finale, the answers register almost as afterthoughts. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Jan. 2024 But either way, these enigmatic worlds don’t fit neatly into existing theories describing how either stars or free-floating planets form. Quanta Magazine, 21 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'free-floating.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1815, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of free-floating was in 1815

Dictionary Entries Near free-floating

Cite this Entry

“Free-floating.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


free-float·​ing ˈfrē-ˈflōt-iŋ How to pronounce free-floating (audio)
: felt as an emotion without apparent cause
free-floating anxiety

More from Merriam-Webster on free-floating

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