Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The ability or discretion to choose; free choice: chose to remain behind of my own free will.
  • n. The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person's natural inclination; unforced choice.
  • n. The ability to choose one's actions, or determine what reasons are acceptable motivation for actions, without predestination, fate etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A will free from improper coercion or restraint.
  • The power asserted of moral beings of willing or choosing without the restraints of physical or absolute necessity.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the power of making free choices unconstrained by external agencies

Etymologies

Middle English fre wil, translation of Late Latin līberum arbitrium : Latin līberum, neuter of līber, free + Latin arbitrium, will.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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  • What some whales have.

    September 29, 2008