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 Democrats don’t label themselves (with the singular exception of Bernie Sanders) or their proposals as socialist, but Republicans, in cahoots with big corporations and Wall Street, demonize them as enemies of capitalism and individual freedom. Kalman R. Hettleman, Star Tribune, "The problem with the Democrats' messaging," 16 Nov. 2020 Huawei also promised them freedom to attack the signature challenge for networking science in the 21st century: creating the infrastructure for 5G. Steven Levy, Wired, "Huawei, 5G, and the Man Who Conquered Noise," 16 Nov. 2020 At Fairwinds Credit Union, financial education and freedom isn’t only for customers, but an important part of their company culture for employees as well. John Cutter,, "Fairwinds Credit Union: First place in large-company cartegory," 14 Nov. 2020 Hong Kong’s press freedom ranking, measured by Reporters Without Borders, slipped from 18th in 2002 to 80th this year out of 180 countries. Washington Post, "With protests muzzled, Hong Kong takes aim at the press," 14 Nov. 2020 But when all else fails, freedom fighters will highlight their own repression in the starkest of terms to gain international assistance. Brian Grodsky, The Conversation, "Genocide claims in Nagorno-Karabakh make peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan unlikely, despite cease-fire," 13 Nov. 2020 Shackelford, who has worked in religious freedom litigation for several decades, said that the difference for religious organizations in treatment between Trump and Biden will be particularly steep. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "'Massive amounts of litigation': Biden administration set to overturn religious liberty protections," 13 Nov. 2020 This virtual brokerage in McKinney earned high marks from its agents for giving them flexibility and freedom to stake their financial claims. Cheryl Hall, Dallas News, "Top 100 Places to Work winner Fathom Realty earns high marks from workers," 12 Nov. 2020 Previous administrations occasionally pressed for universal values of human rights and freedom in the kingdom when doing so did not run up against other strategic interests in the region. Saphora Smith, NBC News, "U.S.-Saudi ties were especially close under Trump. Under Biden, that looks likely to change," 12 Nov. 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

19 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Freedom.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 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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Comments on freedom

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