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free·​will ˈfrē-ˌwil How to pronounce freewill (audio)

free will

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: voluntary choice or decision
I do this of my own free will
: freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention

Examples of freewill in a Sentence

Adjective a freewill confession of guilt made by the suspect during police interrogation our office staff made a freewill offering for UNESCO Noun He argues that all humans have free will. all of the workers at the homeless shelter are unpaid and are there of their own free will
Recent Examples on the Web
Coach for Men captures the never-resting energy of the city that never sleeps and the freewill spontaneity of all those who call it home. Dallas News, 30 Nov. 2022 All, too, will take place without a live audience and include links for freewill donations to nonprofits supporting Cleveland-area musicians and musical programs during coronavirus. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, 2 June 2020 The free community event is sponsored by Spiritual Church of Escondido; freewill offering will be accepted. San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Aug. 2019 Admission for the event sponsored by the Friends of the Rancho Bernardo Library is free; freewill donations will be accepted for musicians. Linda McIntosh,, 30 Apr. 2018 There is no charge for this concert; freewill donations for musicians are encouraged. Linda McIntosh,, 9 Apr. 2018 The series’ third and final concert holds chamber works by French composers of Les Six. 4 p.m. Sunday, Southminster Presbyterian Church, 916 E. Central Road, Arlington Heights; freewill donation; 847-902-0733. John Von Rhein,, 1 June 2017 Freewill offerings will benefit the Georgetown Ministry Center, which aids service-resistant, chronically homeless individuals and advocates for the homeless. Gerri Marmer, Washington Post, 5 May 2017
In closing the gap between humanity, God, and nature, Spinoza also does away with any space for free will. Adam Kirsch, The New Yorker, 5 Feb. 2024 And yet her methods educate children as well as, or better than, the free will–destroying methods advocated by Fichte. Andrew McAfee, Fortune, 14 Nov. 2023 Audiences that got hooked on the first two seasons for free will now have to pay for Prime to get a third season. Josef Adalian, Vulture, 15 Dec. 2023 Both determinism and free will can lend themselves to a conception of life that implies a sense of underlying order. The New Yorker, 27 Nov. 2023 Think of conservative dressing set in a world of magical realism, where nothing is by-the-book and tradition is bent to one’s own defiant free will. José Criales-Unzueta, Vogue, 4 Jan. 2024 Not a single one of these disciplines precludes free will, but all of them together do. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, 12 Nov. 2023 The neuroscientist Kevin Mitchell has argued that the free will of conscious organisms plays a role in determining what will happen in the brain, over and above what is settled by the laws of physics. Philip Goff, Scientific American, 7 Nov. 2023 But Hume’s interpretation of free will has real force. Kieran Setiya, The Atlantic, 3 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'freewill.' 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


1535, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of freewill was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near freewill

Cite this Entry

“Freewill.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
free·​will ˌfrē-ˌwil How to pronounce freewill (audio)
: of or done by one's own free will : voluntary
a freewill offering

free will

2 of 2 noun
: one's own choice or decision

More from Merriam-Webster on freewill

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