free·​dom | \ ˈfrē-dəm How to pronounce freedom (audio) \

Definition of freedom

1 : the quality or state of being free: such as
a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action
b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : independence
c : the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous freedom from care
d : unrestricted use gave him the freedom of their home
e : ease, facility spoke the language with freedom
f : the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken answered with freedom
g : improper familiarity
h : boldness of conception or execution
2a : a political right

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Choose the Right Synonym for freedom

freedom, liberty, license mean the power or condition of acting without compulsion. freedom has a broad range of application from total absence of restraint to merely a sense of not being unduly hampered or frustrated. freedom of the press liberty suggests release from former restraint or compulsion. the released prisoner had difficulty adjusting to his new liberty license implies freedom specially granted or conceded and may connote an abuse of freedom. freedom without responsibility may degenerate into license

Examples of freedom in a Sentence

Or Bugs would do the impossible by jumping out of the frame and landing on the drawing board of the cartoonist who was at work creating him. This freedom to transcend the laws of basic physics, to hop around in time and space, and to skip from one dimension to another has long been a crucial aspect of imaginative poetry. — Billy Collins, Wall Street Journal, 28-29 June 2008 I can see that my choices were never truly mine alone—and that that is how it should be, that to assert otherwise is to chase after a sorry sort of freedom. — Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father, (1995) 2004 It's the beginning of summer.  … For many adults who are really closet kids, this means that their blood hums with a hint of freedom — Anna Quindlen, Newsweek, 18 June 2001 He thinks children these days have too much freedom. She has the freedom to do as she likes. a political prisoner struggling to win his freedom
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Recent Examples on the Web Further Reading Mass Effect: Andromeda and the illusion of freedomIs Mass Effect 2 the series’ golden goose or its ugly duckling? Cian Maher, Ars Technica, "Meet the community still obsessing over Mass Effect 2 10 years later," 14 Feb. 2020 What’s changed after the impeachment fight is Trump’s newfound sense of freedom. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Empire Strikes Back," 7 Feb. 2020 Just me, a good book, and a few days of freedom from mom duties. Stephanie Gray, Glamour, "We Could All Use a ‘Momcation’," 6 Feb. 2020 Gaby was one of the founders of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines, which continues to be a vanguard of press freedom to this day. CBS News, "Remembering Gaby Tabuñar, legendary CBS News foreign correspondent," 4 Feb. 2020 Nonetheless, people have little confidence in themselves and are fearful of freedom. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Sanders, a 'free college' 2020 Democrat, once slammed 'mind-destroying' schools," 30 Jan. 2020 Challenging the narrative of Western history and art history, Moleski depicts a femme leader of color leading other femmes to a sense of freedom. Kiara Ventura, Teen Vogue, "Amaryllis DeJesus Moleski's Art Explores Freedom and Fantasy," 24 Jan. 2020 The Harriet biopic, which brought in $12 million in its first weekend in theaters, centers on Harriet Tubman, the iconic Black abolitionist who led enslaved people to freedom on the Underground Railroad in America. Paula Rogo, Essence, "If Oscar-Nominated Actress Cynthia Erivo Wins, She'll Become An EGOT," 14 Jan. 2020 The debate over equal rights and religious freedom has drawn national attention to both the bakers and the couple at the center of the case. oregonlive, "Oregon appeals court will rule again on state’s $130K fine of Sweet Cakes bakery for refusing to sell same-sex wedding cake," 10 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'freedom.' 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 freedom

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for freedom

see free entry 1

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Time Traveler for freedom

Time Traveler

The first known use of freedom was before the 12th century

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Statistics for freedom

Last Updated

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Freedom.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for freedom


How to pronounce freedom (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of freedom

: the power to do what you want to do : the ability to move or act freely
: the state of not being a slave, prisoner, etc.
: the state of not having or being affected by something unpleasant, painful, or unwanted


free·​dom | \ ˈfrē-dəm How to pronounce freedom (audio) \

Kids Definition of freedom

1 : the condition of having liberty The slaves won their freedom.
2 : ability to move or act as desired freedom of choice freedom of movement
3 : release from something unpleasant freedom from care
4 : the quality of being very frank : candor spoke with freedom
5 : a political right freedom of speech



Legal Definition of freedom

1 : the quality or state of being free: as
a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action
b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another
c : the quality or state of being exempt or released from something onerous
2a : a political or civil right

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