free·​lance | \ ˈfrē-ˌlan(t)s How to pronounce freelance (audio) \

Definition of freelance

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a usually free lance : a mercenary soldier especially of the Middle Ages : condottiere
b : a person who acts independently without being affiliated with or authorized by an organization
2 : a person who pursues a profession without a long-term commitment to any one employer



Definition of freelance (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : of, relating to, or being a freelance : independent a freelance writer
b : done by a freelance freelance reviewing
2 : not sponsored by an organization freelance terrorists


freelanced; freelancing; freelances

Definition of freelance (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to act or work as a freelance

transitive verb

: to produce as a freelance freelancing magazine articles

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Other Words from freelance


freelance adverb

Examples of freelance in a Sentence


I wrote a freelance article for a nature magazine.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Angela Haupt is a freelance writer and full-time health editor in D.C. Byangela Haupt, Washington Post, "The 18 books to read this fall," 17 Sep. 2019 Seth Simons, a freelance writer and editor covering comedy, re-posted a clip from the video on Twitter and brought it to the trade paper’s attention, Variety said. Lynn Elber,, "New ‘SNL’ player used anti-Chinese slur in 2018 YouTube post," 14 Sep. 2019 Kate Tuttle, a freelance writer and critic, can be reached at, "British brain researcher Gina Rippon isn’t a fan of gender reveal parties.," 13 Sep. 2019 Angela Haupt is a freelance writer and full-time health editor in Washington, D.C. Dallas News, "Bookstagrammers and BookTubers changing the way people read," 26 Aug. 2019 Shannon Dell is a freelance writer from Tennessee on the constant hunt for the weird and wonderful. National Geographic, "Take an epic road trip to Tennessee’s coolest caverns," 16 Aug. 2019 Ilana Kaplan is an editor and freelance writer who lives in Brooklyn with her two cats. Ilana Kaplan, Curbed, "Why we’re obsessed with the TV teen bedroom," 14 Aug. 2019 Sarah Zoric, 39, is a freelance writer from New Jersey. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "Eloping Abroad: 7 Couples on What It Meant to Them," 9 Aug. 2019 Good luck! -- John D. Hunter is a freelance writer., "How to combat high drama in high school fall sports tryouts," 27 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

While about 400,000 Californians work for gig platforms like Uber and Doordash, an army of 1.5 million freelance workers in the state could also be covered by the new law. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "California's gig worker law will mostly affect non-gig workers," 13 Sep. 2019 Such spaces are increasingly common and a boon for freelance workers or workers who work from home but want a quiet space to work away from home. Jesse Wright,, "Burr Ridge Village Center residents raise parking concerns as Life Time Athletic plans office rentals," 13 Aug. 2019 Going up against him will be Mark Segovia of Segovia Catering in Gilroy, freelance chef Jon Toste and Steven Catalano, executive chef at the Foster City tech company Zoox. Linda Zavoral, The Mercury News, "Gilroy Garlic Festival: Your 2019 guide to food, celebrity chefs, cooking contests," 16 July 2019 Marotta works three freelance jobs teaching theater in New York City. Erika Edwards, NBC News, "Drug costs push some to extreme measures as Trump admin unveils plan to import medicines from Canada," 31 July 2019 Regueira teaches on a freelance basis and has produced various theatrical Middle Eastern dance performances. Gabriel Poblete, miamiherald, "Miami festival celebrates the art of Middle Eastern belly dancing," 13 June 2018 The soldiers have become freelance mercenaries since the Empire has collapsed, their once-pristine armor now grimy with dirt. James Hibberd,, "The Mandalorian unmasked: ‘We did things no Star Wars fan has ever seen’," 5 Sep. 2019 Rommelmann was previously a freelance writer for The Oregonian/OregonLive, ending in 2014., "Beleaguered Ristretto Roasters closes another Portland location," 28 Aug. 2019 Meryl is 33 years old, works in marketing, and earns just under $51,000 annually (plus another $2,000–$4,000 in freelance income). Nicole Dieker, Vox, "Money Talks: How a new couple handles their shared finances," 20 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After attending cooking school, Amanda Haas freelanced and tested recipes before launching a website that focused on simple family cooking. CBS News, "The Dish: Chef Amanda Haas shares her signature recipes," 14 Sep. 2019 Toney’s freelancing style worries turnover-phobic coaches. Edgar Thompson,, "Five things to watch during Gators preseason camp," 24 July 2019 Tim Brown, who speaks regularly with Gruden, believes his former coach can help Carr return to his pre-injury form, if the quarterback follows the rules of Gruden’s system, freelancing less. Jenny Vrentas And Greg Bishop,, "The Raiders Are Jon Gruden’s Show Now," 6 Sep. 2019 The Rams were bad against the run last season, in part because Suh would freelance and sometimes leave his assignment. Los Angeles Times, "NFC West preview: 49ers hope bolstered pass rush will help them take division title," 2 Sep. 2019 First up would be David Powell, a former Indianapolis Star editor who hired me to freelance gardening columns in 1989. Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Indianapolis Star, "The Hoosier Gardener: 30 years later, gratitude for all this column has brought," 29 Aug. 2019 Subsequently, he has been described as freelancing as a consultant. Martin Weil,, "Kary Mullis, unconventional Nobel laureate who unlocked DNA research, 74," 12 Aug. 2019 Subsequently, he has been described as freelancing as a consultant. Martin Weil, Washington Post, "Kary Mullis, unconventional Nobel laureate who unlocked DNA research, dies at 74," 12 Aug. 2019 An organizational chart delineates specific roles for staffers and allows little opportunity to freelance. Alex Leary, WSJ, "Never Mind Those Tweets, Trump’s 2020 Re-Election Team Wants Order and Discipline," 14 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'freelance.' 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 freelance


1819, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1891, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1902, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Statistics for freelance

Last Updated

22 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for freelance

The first known use of freelance was in 1819

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More Definitions for freelance



English Language Learners Definition of freelance

: earning money by being hired to work on different jobs for short periods of time rather than by having a permanent job with one employer also : done or produced by a freelance worker

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More from Merriam-Webster on freelance

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with freelance

Spanish Central: Translation of freelance

Nglish: Translation of freelance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of freelance for Arabic Speakers

Comments on freelance

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involving a confidence or trust

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