adjective, freer, freest.
enjoying personal rights or liberty, as a person who is not in slavery:
a land of free people.
pertaining to or reserved for those who enjoy personal liberty:
They were thankful to be living on free soil.
existing under, characterized by, or possessing civil and political liberties that are, as a rule, constitutionally guaranteed by representative government:
the free nations of the world.
enjoying political autonomy, as a people or country not under foreign rule; independent.
exempt from external authority, interference, restriction, etc., as a person or one’s will, thought, choice, action, etc.; independent; unrestricted.
able to do something at will; at liberty:
free to choose.
clear of obstructions or obstacles, as a road or corridor:
The highway is now free of fallen rock.
not occupied or in use:
I’ll try to phone her again if the line is free.
exempt or released from something specified that controls, restrains, burdens, etc. (usually followed by from or of):
free from worry; free of taxes.
See also .
having immunity or being safe (usually followed by from):
free from danger.
provided without, or not subject to, a charge or payment:
free parking; a free sample.
given without consideration of a return or reward:
a free offer of legal advice.
unimpeded, as motion or movement; easy, firm, or swift.
not held fast; loose; unattached:
to get one’s arm free.
not joined to or in contact with something else:
The free end of the cantilever sagged.
acting without self-restraint or reserve:
to be too free with one’s tongue.
ready or generous in giving; liberal; lavish:
to be free with one’s advice.
given readily or in profusion; unstinted.
frank and open; unconstrained, unceremonious, or familiar.
unrestrained by decency; loose or licentious:
not subject to special regulations, restrictions, duties, etc.:
The ship was given free passage.
of, relating to, or characterized by :
a free economy.
that may be used by or is open to all:
a free market.
engaged in by all present; general:
a free fight.
not literal, as a translation, adaptation, or the like; loose.
traveling without power; under no force except that of gravity or inertia:
Phonetics. (of a vowel) situated in an open syllable (opposed to ).
at liberty to enter and enjoy at will (usually followed by of):
to be free of a friend’s house.
not subject to rules, set forms, etc.:
The young students had an hour of free play between classes.
easily worked, as stone, land, etc.
Mathematics. (of a vector) having specified magnitude and direction but no specified initial point.
Compare 1 (def 9).
Also, large. Nautical. (of a wind) nearly on the quarter, so that a sailing vessel may sail free.
not containing a specified substance (usually followed by of or from):
Our deli meats are free of additives.
See also .
(of a linguistic form) occurring as an independent construction, without necessary combination with other forms, as most words.
Compare 1 (def 11).
without cost, payment, or charge.
in a free manner; freely.
Nautical. away from the wind, so that a sailing vessel need not be close-hauled:
verb (used with object), freed, freeing.
to make free; set at liberty; release from bondage, imprisonment, or restraint.
to exempt or deliver (usually followed by from).
to relieve or rid (usually followed by of):
to free oneself of responsibility.
to disengage; clear (usually followed by from or of).
for free, Informal. without charge:
The tailor mended my jacket for free.
free and clear, Law. without any encumbrance, as a lien or mortgage:
They owned their house free and clear.
free and easy,
make free with,
set free, to release; liberate; free:
The prisoners were set free.
with a free hand, generously; freely; openhandedly:
He entertains visitors with a free hand.
adjective freer, freest
able to act at will; not under compulsion or restraint
(often postpositive) and foll by from. not subject (to) or restricted (by some regulation, constraint, etc); exempt: a free market, free from pain
(of a country, etc) autonomous or independent
exempt from external direction or restriction; not forced or induced: free will
not subject to conventional constraints: free verse
(of jazz) totally improvised, with no preset melodic, harmonic, or rhythmic basis
not exact or literal: a free translation
costing nothing; provided without charge: free entertainment
(law, of property)
(postpositive; often foll by of or with) ready or generous in using or giving; liberal; lavish: free with advice
unrestrained by propriety or good manners; licentious
not occupied or in use; available: a free cubicle
not occupied or busy; without previous engagements: I’m not free until Wednesday
open or available to all; public
without charge to the subscriber or user: freepost, freephone
not fixed or joined; loose: the free end of a chain
without obstruction or impediment: free passage
(chem) chemically uncombined: free nitrogen
(phonetics) denoting a vowel that can occur in an open syllable, such as the vowel in see as opposed to the vowel in cat
(grammar) denoting a morpheme that can occur as a separate word Compare bound1 (sense 8a)
(logic) denoting an occurrence of a variable not bound by a quantifier Compare bound1 (sense 9)
(of some materials, such as certain kinds of stone) easily worked
(nautical) (of the wind) blowing from the quarter
(usually imperative) feel free, to regard oneself as having permission to perform a specified action
(not standard) for free, without charge or cost
free and easy, casual or tolerant; easy-going
make free with, to take liberties with; behave too familiarly towards
in a free manner; freely
without charge or cost
(nautical) with the wind blowing from the quarter: a yacht sailing free
verb (transitive) frees, freeing, freed
(sometimes foll by up) to set at liberty; release
to remove obstructions, attachments, or impediments from; disengage
often foll by of or from. to relieve or rid (of obstacles, pain, etc)
(informal) a freesheet
Old English freo “free, exempt from, not in bondage,” also “noble; joyful,” from Proto-Germanic *frijaz (cf. Old Frisian fri, Old Saxon and Old High German vri, German frei, Dutch vrij, Gothic freis “free”), from PIE *prijos “dear, beloved,” from root *pri- “to love” (cf. Sanskrit priyah “own, dear, beloved,” priyate “loves;” Old Church Slavonic prijati “to help,” prijatelji “friend;” Welsh rhydd “free”).
The primary sense seems to have been “beloved, friend, to love;” which in some languages (notably Germanic and Celtic) developed also a sense of “free,” perhaps from the terms “beloved” or “friend” being applied to the free members of one’s clan (as opposed to slaves, cf. Latin liberi, meaning both “free” and “children”).
Cf. Gothic frijon “to love;” Old English freod “affection, friendship,” friga “love,” friðu “peace;” Old Norse friðr, German Friede “peace;” Old English freo “wife;” Old Norse Frigg “wife of Odin,” literally “beloved” or “loving;” Middle Low German vrien “to take to wife, Dutch vrijen, German freien “to woo.”
Of nations, “not subject to foreign rule or to despotism,” it is recorded from late 14c. (Free world “non-communist nations” attested from 1950.) Sense of “given without cost” is 1580s, from notion of “free of cost.” Free lunch, originally offered in bars to draw in business, by 1850, American English. Free pass on railways, etc., attested by 1850. Free speech in Britain used of a privilege in Parliament since the time of Henry VIII. In U.S., as a civil right, it became a prominent phrase in the debates over the Gag Rule (1836).
Free enterprise recorded from 1890; free trade is from 1823. Free will is from early 13c. Free association in psychology is from 1899. Free love “sexual liberation” attested from 1822. Free range (adj.) is attested by 1960. Free and easy “unrestrained” is from 1690s.
Old English freogan “to free, liberate, manumit,” also “to love, think of lovingly, honor,” from freo (see free (adj.)). Cf. Old Frisian fria “to make free;” Old Saxon friohan “to court, woo;” German befreien “to free,” freien “to woo;” Old Norse frja “to love;” Gothic frijon “to love.” Related: Freed; freeing.
for free, home free
Community-based bulletin board system with e-mail, information services, interactive communications, and conferencing. Freenets are funded and operated by individuals and volunteers – in one sense, like public television. They are part of the National Public Telecomputing Network (NPTN), an organisation based in Cleveland, Ohio, devoted to making computer telecommunication and networking services as freely available […]
noun Something received without charge; freebie: So he picks up a few free-o’s here and there (1980s+)
adverb, adjective 1. . Commerce. 1. free on board: without charge to the buyer for goods placed on board a carrier at the point of shipment: automobiles shipped f.o.b. Detroit. abbreviation 1. free on board adjective 1. (of a shipment of goods) delivered on board ship or other carrier without charge to the buyer Abbreviation […]
- Free on rail
adjective 1. (of a consignment of goods) delivered to a railway station and loaded onto a train without charge to the buyer Abbreviation FOR, f.o.r.