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

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 Now, China is putting its freewheeling facial recognition industry on notice. Washington Post, 30 July 2021 Incongruity isn’t seen as a blemish, and the lyrics tend to be more freewheeling and braggadocious. Sheldon Pearc, The New Yorker, 30 June 2021 Made for Love, which is certainly not quite like any other book on earth, is more freewheeling, dense with references—an experiment whose outcome is as vivid and as startling as a chip stuck in the brain. Philippa Snow, The New Republic, 8 Apr. 2021 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, 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, 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, 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,, 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, 19 Apr. 2020 See More

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.

Keep scrolling for 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

Dictionary Entries Near freewheeling




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for freewheeling

Cite this Entry

“Freewheeling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!