[free-hwee-ling, -wee-] /ˈfriˈʰwi lɪŋ, -ˈwi-/

operating in the manner of a .
(of a person) moving about freely, independently, or irresponsibly.
(of words, remarks, actions, etc.) unrestrained; irresponsible:
Loose, freewheeling charges were traded during the argument.
[free-hweel, -weel] /ˈfriˈʰwil, -ˈwil/
a device in the transmission of a motor vehicle that automatically disengages the drive shaft whenever it begins to turn more rapidly than the engine.
a form of rear bicycle that has a device it from the driving mechanism, as when the pedals are stopped in coasting.
verb (used without object)
(of a vehicle or its operator) to coast with the disengaged from the driving mechanism.
to move or function freely, independently, unconcernedly, or the like (often followed by about, through, around, etc.):
The two friends freewheeled around the country after graduation.
relating to, operating as, or having a freewheel; coasting
(informal) free of restraints; carefree or uninhibited
a ratchet device in the rear hub of a bicycle wheel that permits the wheel to rotate freely while the pedals are stationary
a device in the transmission of some vehicles that automatically disengages the drive shaft when it rotates more rapidly than the engine shaft, so that the drive shaft can turn freely
(intransitive) to coast in a vehicle or on a bicycle using the freewheel

1903, from free wheel (1899, see free (adj.) + wheel); a bicycle wheel that turns even when not being pedaled, later from the name of a kind of automobile drive system that allowed cars to coast without being slowed by the engine. Figurative sense is from 1911.


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