free·​born ˈfrē-ˈbȯrn How to pronounce freeborn (audio)
: not born in vassalage or slavery
: of, relating to, or befitting one that is freeborn

Examples of freeborn in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The site will also showcase regional heroes of the Underground Railroad, including the work of Smith, a freeborn woman with African American heritage who spent 21 years of her life as Stevens’ house manager and confidante (and, some speculate, his common-law wife). Tracy Schorn, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Dec. 2023 Some thralls were born into slavery because both of their parents were enslaved, or a freeborn man who had impregnated their enslaved mother declined to acknowledge the child. Neil Price, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Aug. 2020 The early republican army was one of freeborn citizens, and even after the Marian reforms which opened up the army to the proletariat the Roman legions were draw from the citizenry. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 6 Jan. 2013 Phalanx warfare was so common in ancient Greece that most freeborn males took part in it many times. James Romm, The New York Review of Books, 23 Sep. 2021 Robert—a man born in Africa, enslaved in America, and now a free farmer—and his freeborn African-American herbalist wife, Mary, had worked diligently to ensure this security for themselves and their children. Janet Barber, Scientific American, 9 Nov. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'freeborn.' 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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of freeborn was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near freeborn

Cite this Entry

“Freeborn.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


free·​born ˈfrē-ˈbȯrn How to pronounce freeborn (audio)
: not born in slavery

More from Merriam-Webster on freeborn

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