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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web The majority support in this country is for this freedom for women to decide this most intimate decision of our lives. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, 15 June 2022 The proclamation moreover guaranteed freedom to enslaved people in secessionist states like Texas, but not Union states like Maryland, which did not secede during the Civil War. Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY, 15 June 2022 The holiday marks the official end of slavery in the United States, honoring the date in 1865 when Union generals announced the end of the Civil War and freedom from slavery in Texas. Annie Nickoloff, cleveland, 14 June 2022 But as the value of both Lexington and Jarret increase, freedom recedes out of reach. Heller Mcalpin, The Christian Science Monitor, 14 June 2022 Steven Spielberg’s film predicted how having more convenience would mean sacrificing personal freedom. David Sims, The Atlantic, 14 June 2022 Reed’s freedom raised hopes for the releases of Griner and Paul N. Whelan, a former U.S. Marine who was sentenced in Russia to 16 years in prison on espionage charges. Jonathan Abrams, New York Times, 13 June 2022 Likewise, Deborah Ann Woll plays Katherine as a woman with no flirtatious artifice, and her desire for flight and freedom is seen only as madness. San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 June 2022 The spacing and freedom in the NBA will enhance Ivey more than most, Woo believes. Marlowe Alter, Detroit Free Press, 13 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near freedom



freedom fighter

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Statistics for freedom

Last Updated

17 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Freedom.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for freedom


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
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

More from Merriam-Webster on freedom

Nglish: Translation of freedom for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of freedom for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about freedom


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