free·​wheel·​ing | \ ˌfrē-ˈhwē-liŋ How to pronounce freewheeling (audio) , -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 The First National Bank, which had been freewheeling and informal in its lending practices, accused him of embezzling $5,000. Patrick Sauer, Smithsonian Magazine, "The History of O. Henry’s ‘The Gift of the Magi’," 24 Dec. 2019 McGregor's piece, entitled China's Big Gamble, shows how even the most freewheeling sectors of China's economy have a penchant for squandering billions of investment dollars. Fortune, "The Case Against China ‘Panic’," 7 Dec. 2019 Trump countered, calling Tillerson ‘‘dumb as a rock.’’ When Kelly was chief of staff, Trump chafed at the orderly processes the general imposed on his freewheeling style and White House operations at large., "NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s former U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley , alleges in her upcoming memoir that two administration officials who were ultimately pushed out by Trump once tried to get her to join them in opposing some of his policies.," 11 Nov. 2019 That freewheeling culture helped good ideas developed at one company to quickly spread elsewhere, ultimately benefitting the entire regional economy. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Senators propose near-total ban on worker noncompete agreements," 17 Oct. 2019 Son’s involvement with Alibaba is indicative of his freewheeling investment mindset. Wired, "WeWork’s Failure is SoftBank’s Day Of Reckoning," 19 Oct. 2019 And such freewheeling fashion needn’t be expensive. Vogue, "5 Fashion Trends Every Maximalist Should Try This Fall—And They’re Surprisingly Affordable," 16 Oct. 2019 The expansion of scooter rentals comes after a year and a half of debate over the electric devices, which came to symbolize a freewheeling attitude toward rolling out new technology that exasperated some politicians. Mallory Moench,, "Up to 2,500 scooters hit SF streets as politicians push for stricter rules," 14 Oct. 2019 Often, origin stories of Silicon Valley have focused on its countercultural ethos: the way that the freewheeling norms of the 1960s helped to shape an anarchic work culture. Kim Phillips-fein, The New Republic, "The Failed Political Promise of Silicon Valley," 27 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for freewheeling

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The first known use of freewheeling was in 1931

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Statistics for freewheeling

Last Updated

28 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Freewheeling.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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How to pronounce freewheeling (audio)

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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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