free·​wheel·​ing ˌfrē-ˈ(h)wē-liŋ How to pronounce freewheeling (audio)
: free and loose in form or manner: such as
: heedless of social norms or niceties
the raider style of his freewheeling fatherGarry Wills
: not repressed or restrained
freewheeling promiscuity
a freewheeling competitive spirit
: not bound by formal rules, procedures, or guidelines
a freewheeling investigation
: loose and undisciplined : not defensive
a freewheeling style of hockey
freewheelingly adverb

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

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'freewheeling.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1931, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of freewheeling was in 1931

Dictionary Entries Near freewheeling

Cite this Entry

“Freewheeling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


free·​wheel·​ing -ˈhwē(ə)l-iŋ How to pronounce freewheeling (audio)
: free and loose in form or manner
especially : not held back by rules, duties, or worries
led a freewheeling life in the city
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