Thesaurus

free

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of free

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 not being under the rule or control of another
  • the 20th century saw many African countries become free after many years of European rule

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2 no longer burdened with something unpleasant or painful
  • after our son arrived home safely, we were grateful to be free from worry

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3 not bound, confined, or detained by force
  • all of the animals in the game preserve are free to roam all over its vast area

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4 not costing or charging anything
  • although the museum normally charges admission, on Wednesdays it is free to all

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5 allowing passage without obstruction
  • make sure the pass is free before you attempt the trip through the mountains this winter

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7 not being in a state of use, activity, or employment
  • this computer terminal is free if you need to use it

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9 not physically attached to another unit
  • an arrangement of free columns adds interest to the Greco-Roman sculpture garden

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free

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of free (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to set free (as from slavery or confinement)
  • a global crusade to free Nelson Mandela from a South African prison had emerged

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2 to make passage through (something) possible by removing obstructions
  • we'll free the river by breaking up the ice jam

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3 to rid the surface of (as an area) from things in the way
  • would you mind freeing up the work area so I can work?

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4 to set (a person or thing) free of something that encumbers
  • a phone call would free your parents from worry

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5 to set free from entanglement or difficulty
  • this plan should free us from debt

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About free

How does the adjective free contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of free are autonomous, independent, and sovereign. While all these words mean "not subject to the rule or control of another," free stresses the complete absence of external rule and the full right to make all of one's own decisions.

you're free to do as you like

When is it sensible to use autonomous instead of free?

While the synonyms autonomous and free are close in meaning, autonomous stresses independence in matters pertaining to self-government.

in this denomination each congregation is regarded as autonomous

When would independent be a good substitute for free?

In some situations, the words independent and free are roughly equivalent. However, independent implies a standing alone; applied to a state it implies lack of connection with any other having power to interfere with its citizens, laws, or policies.

the colony's struggle to become independent

When is sovereign a more appropriate choice than free?

The words sovereign and free are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, sovereign stresses the absence of a superior power and implies supremacy within a thing's own domain or sphere.

separate and sovereign armed services

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Time Traveler for free

Time Traveler

The first known use of free was before the 12th century

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Thesaurus Entries Near free

freckling

free

free and easy

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Cite this Entry

“Free.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/free. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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