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

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 The 24-hour whirlwind leading up to Monday night's prime time announcement, and the 12-day stretch that preceded it, was classic Trump – a freewheeling process involving an eclectic cast of advisers and punctuated by bouts of indecision and drama. Author: Ashley Parker, Robert Costa, Anchorage Daily News, "‘All a little misdirection’: Inside Trump’s sometimes-wavering decision to nominate Kavanaugh," 11 July 2018 Kelly is credited with bringing order to the West Wing but also grates on the freewheeling president. Ken Thomas,, "Trump says he has ‘good relationship’ with chief of staff," 30 June 2018 With Trump, a Cabinet meeting becomes a freewheeling speech to the nation, and a walk to Marine One turns into an impromptu news conference., "Trump’s reveal of his Supreme Court choice will be a show, and that’s how he likes it," 8 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

7 Sep 2018

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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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