freed·​man | \ ˈfrēd-mən How to pronounce freedman (audio) , -ˌman \

Definition of freedman

: a person freed from slavery

Examples of freedman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Secundio, Zuchtriegel explained, was a freedman, having formerly been a public slave—essentially, a municipal worker owned by the city. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 22 Nov. 2021 Tanney was a freedman who tried to buy the freedom of his wife and daughters, but Limbrey’s ancestors refused and hanged him for attempting to claim his wife’s remains. Ariana Romero,, 4 Aug. 2021 Her great-great-great-grandfather Henry Weeden was a freedman in Boston who worked as a tailor, and refused a federal marshal’s request to mend his coat, because the marshal’s job duties included enforcing the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act. Nicholas Lemann, The New Yorker, 26 July 2021 Wealthy men like Vedius Pollio, a cruel freedman of the first century B.C., raised them in ponds for the table—though Pollio’s eels were not solely meant for consumption. James Romm, WSJ, 12 Mar. 2021 Having first modeled an idealized, kneeling figure from his own white body, Ball was persuaded to rework the pose based on a photograph of an actual freedman named Archer Alexander. Jonathan W. White, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 June 2020 When plantation heirs tried to reclaim the land, freedmen forcefully resisted. Daniel R. Mandell, Time, 7 Apr. 2020 The historically black school had been established for the education of freedmen at the end of the Civil War. Los Angeles Times, 7 Apr. 2020 Unfortunately, freedmen were disappointed as federal officials moved reluctantly to enforce Johnson’s policies. Daniel R. Mandell, Time, 7 Apr. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of freedman

1587, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of freedman was in 1587

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Cite this Entry

“Freedman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for freedman


freed·​man | \ ˈfrēd-mən How to pronounce freedman (audio) \
plural freedmen\ -​mən \

Kids Definition of freedman

: a person freed from slavery

More from Merriam-Webster on freedman

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for freedman Encyclopedia article about freedman


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