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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Newfound breathing room has given the company the freedom to concentrate on its long-term health. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Is Twitter Good Now?," 13 July 2018 Among them are the beliefs that the freedoms of others should be respected; beliefs should conform to a scientific understanding of the world; and that the struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Why The Satanic Temple Indiana adopted a stretch of highway in Boone County," 12 July 2018 The European Commission insists that the single market’s freedoms are indivisible. The Economist, "The EU digests Britain’s new Brexit plan," 11 July 2018 The freedom of press case has made international headlines as a potential pathway to progress for the democratic country where the military still holds much power. Renae Reints, Fortune, "Reuters Journalists Charged with Obtaining State Secrets by Myanmar Court," 9 July 2018 The 1945 ruling made an enormous impact on Hollywood, giving actors the freedom to pick roles and shape their own careers. Marlisse Cepeda, Country Living, "Olivia de Havilland, the Last Surviving "Gone With the Wind" Cast Member, Just Turned 102," 2 July 2018 And Putin may well be too busy persecuting dissenters and journalists, in a country that ranks 180th out of 199 countries in press freedom, behind such paradises of free speech as Venezuela and Sudan. The Kansas City Star Editorial Board, kansascity, "In Moscow, our man Jerry Moran has something to say to Putin," 29 June 2018 This season revealed a new wave of international talents—from China, for the most part—with strong messaging and a philosophy about the dynamic of men and their relationship with the clothes and the freedom that comes with it. Michael Philouze, Vogue, "A Vogue Editor’s Diary of Paris’s Spring 2019 Men’s Shows," 26 June 2018 The second part of editorial independence is that freedom is earned by people who work hard and report factually and do their jobs well, and that’s what CNN does. Joe Pompeo, The Hive, "“How’s He Gonna React When There’s a Scandal?”: CNN Begins Its New Day Under John Stankey," 26 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about freedom

Statistics for freedom

Last Updated

26 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for freedom

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on freedom

What made you want to look up freedom? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!