free·​wheel·​ing | \ˌfrē-ˈhwē-liŋ, -ˈwē-\

Definition of freewheeling 

: free and loose in form or manner: such as

a : heedless of social norms or niceties the raider style of his freewheeling father— Garry Wills

b : not repressed or restrained freewheeling promiscuity a freewheeling competitive spirit

c : not bound by formal rules, procedures, or guidelines a freewheeling investigation

d : loose and undisciplined : not defensive a freewheeling style of hockey

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Other Words from freewheeling

freewheelingly adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for freewheeling





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Examples of freewheeling in a Sentence

She led a freewheeling life in the city. James Bond has long been the model of the freewheeling hero who encounters danger and excitement in every corner of the globe.

Recent Examples on the Web

For 50 years Hong Kong could keep its independent courts, its free-market economy and its freewheeling press, while Beijing was responsible for matters of state like national defense and foreign relations. Austin Ramzy, New York Times, "Hong Kong Gives Mainland Police Sway in New Train Station," 15 June 2018 The freewheeling low-stakes website for throwing bad jokes into the abyss has transformed into an enormous public forum inhabited by just about everyone who's anyone, plus a legion of the worst people on the planet. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "How to Delete All Your Tweets," 2 Aug. 2018 Crowds by the hundreds flock to each ISC lawn performance at Griffith Park’s Old Zoo site to delight in freewheeling antics, charming improv and engaging musical interludes combined with a rigorously literate handling of the text. Philip Brandes,, "The 99 Seat Beat: 'Big Fish' at the Chance in Anaheim, free Shakespeare in Griffith Park," 6 July 2018 Behind him, forward Antoine Griezmann plays a more freewheeling attacking role, often running from deep. John Leicester,, "Five reasons why France will win the World Cup final," 14 July 2018 As a bandleader, this 83-year-old National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master encourages his combo to embrace an open, freewheeling approach to post-bop. New York Times, "13 Pop, Rock and Jazz Concerts to Check Out in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 5 July 2018 Trump also routinely holds freewheeling evening discussions with friends from the worlds of business and conservative media. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Trump’s wildly inappropriate (and possibly corrupt) jobs report tweet, explained," 1 June 2018 In looking into the links between music and math, one can’t help feeling excited affection for the freewheeling curiosity of previous centuries, when savants played over broad arrays of disciplines like virtuoso keyboardists. Paul Grimstad, The New Republic, "Can You Measure How Good a Song Is?," 21 June 2018 The long oil boom that started at nearby Spindletop bequeathed Houston a freewheeling spirit and a pathological suspicion of zoning laws. The Economist, "Demography is not destinyBuilding a multiracial coalition is more difficult than it seems," 12 July 2018

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

1931, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

14 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for freewheeling

The first known use of freewheeling was in 1931

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English Language Learners Definition of freewheeling

: free and loose in style or manner : not held back by rules, duties, or worries : not controlled or limited

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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