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Meaning of freewheel

free•wheel

Pronunciation: (frē'hwēl', -wēl'), [key]
— n.
  1. 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.
  2. a form of rear bicycle wheel that has a device freeing it from the driving mechanism, as when the pedals are stopped in coasting.
—v.i.
  1. (of a vehicle or its operator) to coast with the wheels disengaged from the driving mechanism.
  2. to move or function freely, independently, unconcernedly, or the like (often fol. by about, through, around, etc.): The two friends freewheeled around the country after graduation.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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