free·​dom | \ˈfrē-dəm \

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

b : franchise, privilege

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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

Australia should have mounted freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea. Tony Abbott, WSJ, "An Ally Sizes Up Donald Trump," 13 July 2018 Ideological threat that Islam poses to human dignity and freedom. Gustavo Solis,, "Gastelum remains barred from committees because of anti-Muslim tweet," 12 July 2018 In Kennedy’s final weeks, the court punted on major decisions on partisan gerrymandering and religious-freedom exceptions to anti-discrimination laws. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "What the New Supreme Court Will Decide," 29 June 2018 In the same vein, the road back from unhappiness, the path to taking control over technology, and, by extension, the path to regaining freedom of choice takes a multitude of steps that are different for each of us. Vivek Wadhwa And Alex Salkever, WIRED, "How Can We Make Technology Healthier for Humans?," 26 June 2018 After a labored opening 2-1 win over Australia, France coach Didier Deschamps changed to a more resilient, somewhat lopsided formation with Mbappe given freedom to roam and run at defenders from the right flank. John Leicester,, "Five reasons why France will win the World Cup final," 14 July 2018 Observers now wonder whether the end of fighting with Ethiopia will lead Eritrea to open up and embrace new freedoms. ___ Follow Africa news at Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. Washington Post, "Eritrea leader visits Ethiopia on Saturday in historic thaw," 13 July 2018 Perhaps even more problematically, working with the Shah’s regime, a violator of political and human rights, undermined the very principles that Franklin purported to stand for—intellectual and political freedom. Amanda Laugesen, Smithsonian, "This Cold War-Era Publishing House Wanted To Share American Values With the World," 13 July 2018 From a visual perspective, freedom to experiment with music videos proved consequential for Devo during the early 1980s, when the fledgling cable station MTV was looking for content to populate its music video channel. Randall Roberts,, "The Art of De-Evolution: Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale discuss two new books that celebrate punk band Devo's visual work," 12 July 2018

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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Statistics for freedom

Last Updated

4 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for freedom

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

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More Definitions for freedom


free·​dom | \ˈfrē-dəm \

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

b : franchise sense 2

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Comments on freedom

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playful or foolish behavior

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