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

The climate onstage, however, is never one of freedom. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "With Batsheva, Politics Inside and Outside the Joyce Theater," 11 July 2018 The shuttle resumes service after the fireworks, with the last shuttles departing at 11 p.m. Batavia Batavia has a united tradition to honor Amerca’s birthday centering on the freedom of speech. Joy Davis, Aurora Beacon-News, "Fox Valley ready to celebrate Fourth of July," 29 June 2018 Bending rules such as freedom of movement is harder. The Economist, "A new Brexit plan creates fresh depths of chaos," 12 July 2018 It is currently covered by insurance courtesy of the Affordable Care Act (though the Trump administration made moves last year to chip away at that coverage under the banner of religious freedom for employers). Carolyn Todd, Allure, "The History and Evolution of Birth Control in America," 12 July 2018 June cannot have Nick and Luke and Hannah and Holly and freedom all at once. Rena Gross, Billboard, "'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2 Finale: Here's What Happened," 11 July 2018 At the core of its negotiation position are the four pillars of the single EU market: freedom of movement for goods, services, capital, and people. Peter Ford, The Christian Science Monitor, "As clock ticks down, Britain finally reveals its plan for Brexit. What now?," 11 July 2018 These lenses give wearers freedom of expression and comfortable vision day and night. Kaitlyn Frey,, "Christian Siriano Owns 'Maybe 20 Pairs' of Glasses, But Always Wears the Same Ones Every Day," 11 July 2018 So maybe people have more freedom to do creative work as routine jobs get automated. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Professor, psychologist and author Adam Grant on Recode Decode," 5 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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Learn More about freedom

Statistics for freedom

Last Updated

7 Oct 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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