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

Mosbacher made similar remarks about media freedom in a meeting in parliament last week, prompting deputy prime minister, Jaroslaw Gowin, to cancel a meeting with her, according to Polish media reports. Vanessa Gera, The Seattle Times, "US ambassador angers Poles with letter to prime minister," 28 Nov. 2018 The Sylvia Rivera Law project, named after transgender activist Sylvia Rivera, is an organization that seeks freedom of gender expression for all, regardless of income, class, race, or other factors. Allure, "6 Ways to Support Transgender and Nonbinary People Right Now," 21 Oct. 2018 Since the first contact with the Western world, when colonizers landed upon the continent’s shores, Indigenous peoples have fought for the human rights and freedoms of their communities. Maka Monture, Teen Vogue, "10 Native Activism Organizations to Show Your Support This Thanksgiving," 22 Nov. 2018 The wasps hatch, devour the roach inside the egg case and escape by drilling a hole out to freedom. Rob Dunn, Discover Magazine, "Our Attempts to Eradicate Insects are Just Making them Resistant to Pesticides," 16 Nov. 2018 Trump also signed an executive order that ostensibly protects free speech rights and religious freedom. Dylan Scott, Vox, "White evangelicals turned out for the GOP in big numbers again," 7 Nov. 2018 Of course, there are tradeoffs between freedom and security. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Internet freedom continues to decline around the world, a new report says," 1 Nov. 2018 There’s a sense of freedom and empowerment [flying a plane]. Laura Dannen Redman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Flying With My Dad Around the World," 28 Aug. 2018 Under Trump, the department has issued regular stinging critiques of Russia, including on human rights and press freedom. Matthew Lee,, "Trump wish for warm Putin ties highlights policy disconnect," 14 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

16 Dec 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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