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

Definition of freewill

 (Entry 1 of 2)

free will


Definition of free will (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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, "Cleveland Orchestra cellist Mark Kosower seeks to inspire, heal with ‘Bach for Humanity’," 2 June 2020 The free community event is sponsored by Spiritual Church of Escondido; freewill offering will be accepted. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Passion 4 K.I.D.S founders visit with royalty," 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,, "Local Marines receive scholarships from Kiwanis ... community events," 30 Apr. 2018 There is no charge for this concert; freewill donations for musicians are encouraged. Linda Mcintosh,, "Hand-to-Hand gives 39K in local grants," 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,, "Recommended Chicago-area classical music concerts," 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, "Religion events from around the Washington area," 5 May 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun To round out this weird awards-show week, Glenn Close decided today, of her own free will, to post this delicious video of her playing the drums on a prosthetic stomach. Charlotte Walsh, Vulture, "Glenn Close Slapping Her Prosthetic Belly Is Absolutely Hypnotizing," 4 Feb. 2021 The attempt by Protestant reformer John Calvin to vindicate God’s sovereignty ultimately forced him to abjure any meaningful belief in human free will, leaving us as either tools in the hands of our Maker or utter slaves to sin. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Christopher Nolan’s Tenet Tackles a Christian Mystery," 25 Jan. 2021 For starters, coronavirus cases and deaths are soaring nationwide, including in Oregon, so keeping a team that mostly lives off-campus virus-free will be tricky. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "Portland State football backs out of Big Sky Conference season amid coronavirus safety concerns, could play modified April schedule," 15 Jan. 2021 The question is really whether a brain is a slave to itself, or is there an opportunity for free will? Ryan Prior, CNN, "How to harness brain science for a better life, explained by a neuroscientist," 30 Dec. 2020 This is forcing a profound reckoning with the limits of free will, American exceptionalism and technological utopianism—in short, with human powerlessness in the face of death. Katy Butler, WSJ, "Covid Is Reshaping Death. And Maybe Life.," 16 Dec. 2020 Xinjiang authorities say all residents work of their own free will. Washington Post, "Huawei tested AI software that could recognize Uighur minorities and alert police, report says," 8 Dec. 2020 Cornel West, who fuses an analysis of class and empire with his Christian faith in free will and the human spirit, calls for dismantling three systems: the police, Wall Street, the Pentagon. Gaiutra Bahadur, The New Republic, "Is America Trapped in a Caste System?," 25 Nov. 2020 Fortunately, many essential human characteristics, including free will, do not reduce to individual genes. Adrian Woolfson, Washington Post, "With CRISPR, humans can create their own evolutionary future," 20 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'freewill.' 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 freewill


1535, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for freewill

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

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Cite this Entry

“Freewill.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for freewill

free will


English Language Learners Definition of free will

: the ability to choose how to act
: the ability to make choices that are not controlled by fate or God

free will


Kids Definition of free will

: a person's own choice or decision She confessed of her own free will.

More from Merriam-Webster on freewill

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for freewill

Nglish: Translation of freewill for Spanish Speakers

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