Definitions

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

  • n. The condition of being free of restraints.
  • n. Liberty of the person from slavery, detention, or oppression.
  • n. Political independence.
  • n. Exemption from the arbitrary exercise of authority in the performance of a specific action; civil liberty: freedom of assembly.
  • n. Exemption from an unpleasant or onerous condition: freedom from want.
  • n. The capacity to exercise choice; free will: We have the freedom to do as we please all afternoon.
  • n. Ease or facility of movement: loose sports clothing, giving the wearer freedom.
  • n. Frankness or boldness; lack of modesty or reserve: the new freedom in movies and novels.
  • n. The right to unrestricted use; full access: was given the freedom of their research facilities.
  • n. The right of enjoying all of the privileges of membership or citizenship: the freedom of the city.
  • n. A right or the power to engage in certain actions without control or interference: "the seductive freedoms and excesses of the picaresque form” ( John W. Aldridge).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state of being free, of not being imprisoned or enslaved.
  • n. The lack of a specific constraint, or of constraints in general; a state of being free, unconstrained.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state of being free; exemption from the power and control of another; liberty; independence.
  • n. Privileges; franchises; immunities.
  • n. Exemption from necessity, in choise and action.
  • n. Ease; facility.
  • n. Frankness; openness; unreservedness.
  • n. Improper familiarity; violation of the rules of decorum; license.
  • n. Generosity; liberality.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state or character of being free.
  • n. Exemption from the constraint or restraint of physical or moral forces; the state of being able to act without external controlling interference; liberty; in a special sense, exemption from bondage or imprisonment.
  • n. Exemption from arbitrary, despotic, or autocratic control, especially in civil matters; independence; civil liberty.
  • n. Frankness; openness; outspokenness; unrestrictedness.
  • n. License; improper familiarity; in a concrete sense (with a plural), a violation of the rules of decorum; an act of bold presumption.
  • n. The state of being clear or exempt (from something): as, freedom from sickness; freedom from care
  • n. Ease or facility (of doing anything): as, he speaks or acts with freedom.
  • n. Generosity; liberality; open-handedness.
  • n. The possession of particular privileges; franchise; immunity: as, the freedom of a city or of a corporation.
  • n. A free, unconditional grant; a free privilege or franchise.
  • n. In mathematics, capability of displacement in space.

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

  • n. the condition of being free; the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints
  • n. immunity from an obligation or duty

Etymologies

Middle English fredom, from Old English frēodōm : frēo, free; see free + -dōm, -dom.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English freedom, fredom, from Old English frēodōm ("freedom, state of free-will, charter, emancipation, deliverance"), from Proto-Germanic *frijadōmaz (“freedom”), equivalent to free +‎ -dom. Cognate with North Frisian fridoem ("freedom"), Dutch vrijdom ("freedom"), Low German frīdom ("freedom"), Middle High German vrītuom ("freedom"), Norwegian fridom ("freedom"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • You have been promised land and freedom, but the counter-revolution will profit by the anarchy called forth by the Bolsheviki, and will deprive you of land and freedom….

    Chapter 5. Plunging Ahead

  • The pivot, the medium of this construction of the personality, is working in freedom, in accordance with the natural wants of the inner life; thus _freedom in intellectual work_ is found to be the _basis of internal discipline_.

    Spontaneous Activity in Education

  • British hens and stags pay a heavy price for the last night of freedom• Price for hen and stag nights soars to £100.25 per person • Alcohol accounts for a third of the total spend• 1 in 10 cheat on their partner during the last night of freedomBritish hen and stag revellers are paying an average of £100.25 per person to celebrate the last night of freedom, according to a new survey published today Tuesday 17 April 2007.

    Hen & Stag Night Party Bill Hits £100

  • 'freedom of the press' they consider on a par with _freedom of Colt's revolver_.

    The Confidence-Man

  • It has been easy for America to endorse a policy of refusing to negotiate, especially if the terrorist—I prefer the term freedom fighter—has attacked the Rome airport or taken a British national hostage in Beirut.

    Pressure Point

  • "If we intend to use the word freedom in an honest way, we should have the simple integrity to give it real meaning: Freedom is living without government coercion."

    Adam J. Fowler: Not Just Another Word

  • My mother lived in Berlin at the end of the war -- when she took me out of my comfort zone and the security of my home in Texas to East Berlin, I remember how frightened she was just crossing through the check points, as though they might keep her there, in that world where the word freedom and peace had lost its meaning.

    Marlise Karlin: Game Changers: Who Are the Real Leaders Today?

  • "The publication of such offensive and inflammatory material which has tendency to inflame minds cannot be considered to be an expression freedom of speech by any stretch of imagination in civilized society," Mr. Kumar wrote in the order.

    Google, Facebook Fight Indian Censorship Demands

  • The intrinsic value in freedom is that it allows individuals to pursue things they find valuable.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » “Do ‘Family Values’ Weaken Families?”

  • The word "freedom has meaning for me," he said, "and I will defend it at any cost."

    Joan Miró: A life in paintings

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