free·​wheel·​ing | \ ˌfrē-ˈ(h)wē-liŋ How to pronounce freewheeling (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from freewheeling

freewheelingly adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for freewheeling



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Perhaps because of the controversy, Trump has maintained an uncharacteristically low profile, avoiding the sort of freewheeling interactions with journalists that have defined his time in office. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "Trump approval rating plunges 10 points amid protests: Gallup," 10 June 2020 One is the global financial system with its freewheeling capital flows, open dissemination of information and the rule of law. The Economist, "Hong Kong’s uncertain future Can Hong Kong remain a global financial centre?," 6 June 2020 The Deep Web, as its name suggests, is the freewheeling part of the internet that has seen increased activity from bad actors since the pandemic struck. Fernando Alfonso Iii, CNN, "The pandemic is causing an exponential rise in the online exploitation of children, experts say," 25 May 2020 His insistence on being the star of the daily briefing came as his greatest asset in the reelection campaign — his ability to dominate headlines with freewheeling performances at his daily briefings — was increasingly being seen as a liability. Jonathan Lemire,, "After weeks of criticism, Trump shifts focus to economy, tries to regain his footing," 27 Apr. 2020 Ten months ago, the couple, both around 40 years old and parents of two children, left Fairbanks, Alaska, and embarked on a freewheeling life as year-round recreational-vehicle nomads. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Virus Maroons Some Recreational-Vehicle Nomads," 19 Apr. 2020 The freewheeling answer led to widespread mockery and much concern that such advice, coming from so prominent a figure, could cause frightened Americans to ingest bleach as a way to ward off the disease. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "38% rise in bleach poisoning predates Trump’s suggestion, data shows," 13 May 2020 There are sequences bone-dripped with hard-R freakout imagery — but the vibe is whimsical, full of freewheeling conversation. Darren Franich,, "The Midnight Gospel is a heartfelt cosmic masterpiece: Review," 7 May 2020 As the billionaire head of Tesla and a slew of other companies, Musk isn’t a typical NASA contractor, and he is well known for his freewheeling social-media persona, which has, on more than one occasion, gotten him sued. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "NASA’s Moonshot Can’t Stop Tweeting About the Coronavirus," 1 May 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of freewheeling

1931, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about freewheeling

Time Traveler for freewheeling

Time Traveler

The first known use of freewheeling was in 1931

See more words from the same year

Statistics for freewheeling

Cite this Entry

“Freewheeling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for freewheeling



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

More from Merriam-Webster on freewheeling

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for freewheeling

Comments on freewheeling

What made you want to look up freewheeling? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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