free: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (frē), [key]
— adj., adv., v., fre•er, fre•est, freed, free•ing.
  1. enjoying personal rights or liberty, as a person who is not in slavery: a land of free people.
  2. pertaining to or reserved for those who enjoy personal liberty: They were thankful to be living on free soil.
  3. 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.
  4. enjoying political autonomy, as a people or country not under foreign rule; independent.
  5. exempt from external authority, interference, restriction, etc., as a person or one's will, thought, choice, action, etc.; independent; unrestricted.
  6. able to do something at will; at liberty: free to choose.
  7. clear of obstructions or obstacles, as a road or corridor: The highway is now free of fallen rock.
  8. not occupied or in use: I'll try to phone her again if the line is free.
  9. exempt or released from something specified that controls, restrains, burdens, etc. (usually fol. by from or of&hasp;): free from worry; free of taxes.
  10. having immunity or being safe (usually fol. by from): free from danger.
  11. provided without, or not subject to, a charge or payment: free parking; a free sample.
  12. given without consideration of a return or reward: a free offer of legal advice.
  13. unimpeded, as motion or movement; easy, firm, or swift.
  14. not held fast; loose; unattached: to get one's arm free.
  15. not joined to or in contact with something else: The free end of the cantilever sagged.
  16. acting without self-restraint or reserve: to be too free with one's tongue.
  17. ready or generous in giving; liberal; lavish: to be free with one's advice.
  18. given readily or in profusion; unstinted.
  19. frank and open; unconstrained, unceremonious, or familiar.
  20. unrestrained by decency; loose or licentious: free behavior.
  21. not subject to special regulations, restrictions, duties, etc.: The ship was given free passage.
  22. of, pertaining to, or characterized by free enterprise: a free economy.
  23. that may be used by or is open to all: a free market.
  24. engaged in by all present; general: a free fight.
  25. not literal, as a translation, adaptation, or the like; loose.
  26. uncombined chemically: free oxygen.
  27. traveling without power; under no force except that of gravity or inertia: free flight.
  28. (of a vowel) situated in an open syllable (opposed to checked).
  29. at liberty to enter and enjoy at will (usually fol. by of&hasp;): to be free of a friend's house.
  30. not subject to rules, set forms, etc.: The young students had an hour of free play between classes.
  31. easily worked, as stone, land, etc.
  32. (of a vector) having specified magnitude and direction but no specified initial point. Cf. bound (def. 9).
  33. (of a wind) nearly on the quarter, so that a sailing vessel may sail free.
  34. not containing a specified substance (often used in combination): a sugar-free soft drink.
  35. (of a linguistic form) occurring as an independent construction, without necessary combination with other forms, as most words. Cf. bound (def. 11).
  36. without charge: The tailor mended my jacket for free.
  37. without any encumbrance, as a lien or mortgage: They owned their house free and clear.
    1. unrestrained; casual; informal.
    2. excessively or inappropriately casual; presumptuous.
  38. to release; liberate; free: The prisoners were set free.
  39. generously; freely; openhandedly: He entertains visitors with a free hand.
  40. without cost, payment, or charge.
  1. in a free manner; freely.
  2. away from the wind, so that a sailing vessel need not be close-hauled: running free.
  3. If you make free with their liquor, you won't be invited again.
    1. to use as one's own; help oneself to:If you make free with their liquor, you won't be invited again.
    2. to treat with too much familiarity; take liberties with.
  1. to make free; set at liberty; release from bondage, imprisonment, or restraint.
  2. to exempt or deliver (usually fol. by from).
  3. to relieve or rid (usually fol. by of&hasp;): to free oneself of responsibility.
  4. to disengage; clear (usually fol. by from or of&hasp;).
  5. Congress voted to free up funds for the new highway system.
    1. to release, as from restrictions:Congress voted to free up funds for the new highway system.
    2. to disentangle:It took an hour to free up the traffic jam.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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