free·​load | \ ˈfrē-ˌlōd How to pronounce freeload (audio) \
freeloaded; freeloading; freeloads

Definition of freeload

intransitive verb

: to impose upon another's generosity or hospitality without sharing in the cost or responsibility involved : sponge

Other Words from freeload

freeloader noun

Synonyms for freeload


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of freeload in a Sentence

after college, he freeloaded off his parents for several years before finally moving out
Recent Examples on the Web Adult children who are basically capable should not be freeloading off their parents, depleting their retirement accounts. John Rosemond, ajc, 10 Apr. 2020 Whatever leftover food the fat innkeeper doesn't eat gets gobbled up by other bottom-dwellers such as crab, shrimp, and clams, which take up residence inside these burrows to freeload off of the worm. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, 13 Dec. 2019 Are your only career options workaholic or freeloading bohemian? Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 15 Nov. 2019 If the government mandates that Alphabet break up, the company’s many freeloading children would have to take care of themselves. Adam Seessel, Fortune, 26 July 2019 The benefits of a breakup The crux of it is that Google’s core search business is so profitable that the rest of Alphabet’s many subsidiaries are freeloading off it. Adam Seessel, Fortune, 26 July 2019 And foreign governments are freeloading off of our investments in innovation. Robert Pear, New York Times, 10 May 2018 When the accident victim turns out to have the couple’s address in his pocket and a shady connection to Lindsey’s freeloading younger sister, Hannah (Perla Haney-Jardine), a scary situation turns terrifying. Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, 1 Mar. 2018 Alexander Pirozzi willingly left when his girlfriend kicked him out of her Sebastian apartment for freeloading. David J. Neal, miamiherald, 14 Jan. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'freeload.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of freeload

1940, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About freeload

Time Traveler for freeload

Time Traveler

The first known use of freeload was in 1940

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near freeload



free love

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for freeload

Cite this Entry

“Freeload.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on freeload

Nglish: Translation of freeload for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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