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

  • adj. Not imprisoned or enslaved; being at liberty.
  • adj. Not controlled by obligation or the will of another: felt free to go.
  • adj. Having political independence: "America . . . is the freest and wealthiest nation in the world” ( Rudolph W. Giuliani).
  • adj. Governed by consent and possessing or granting civil liberties: a free citizenry.
  • adj. Not subject to arbitrary interference by a government: a free press.
  • adj. Not affected or restricted by a given condition or circumstance: a healthy animal, free of disease; free from need.
  • adj. Not subject to a given condition; exempt: income that is free of all taxes.
  • adj. Not subject to external restraint: "Comment is free but facts are sacred” ( Charles Prestwich Scott).
  • adj. Not literal or exact: a free translation.
  • adj. Costing nothing; gratuitous: a free meal.
  • adj. Publicly supported: free education.
  • adj. Not occupied or used: a free locker.
  • adj. Not taken up by scheduled activities: free time between classes.
  • adj. Unobstructed; clear: a free lane.
  • adj. Unguarded in expression or manner; open; frank.
  • adj. Taking undue liberties; forward or overfamiliar.
  • adj. Liberal or lavish: tourists who are free with their money.
  • adj. Given, made, or done of one's own accord; voluntary or spontaneous: a free act of the will; free choices.
  • adj. Chemistry & Physics Unconstrained; unconfined: free expansion.
  • adj. Chemistry & Physics Not fixed in position; capable of relatively unrestricted motion: a free electron.
  • adj. Chemistry & Physics Not chemically bound in a molecule: free oxygen.
  • adj. Chemistry & Physics Involving no collisions or interactions: a free path.
  • adj. Chemistry & Physics Empty: a free space.
  • adj. Chemistry & Physics Unoccupied: a free energy level.
  • adj. Nautical Favorable: a free wind.
  • adj. Not bound, fastened, or attached: the free end of a chain.
  • adj. Linguistics Being a form, especially a morpheme, that can stand as an independent word, such as boat or bring.
  • adj. Linguistics Being a vowel in an open syllable, as the o in go.
  • adv. In a free manner; without restraint.
  • adv. Without charge.
  • transitive v. To set at liberty; make free: freed the slaves; free the imagination.
  • transitive v. To relieve of a burden, obligation, or restraint: a people who were at last freed from fear.
  • transitive v. To remove obstructions or entanglements from; clear: free a path through the jungle.
  • idiom for free Informal Without charge.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Not imprisoned or enslaved.
  • adj. Obtainable without any payment.
  • adj. Obtainable without additional payment, as a bonus given when paying for something else.
  • adj. Unconstrained.
  • adj. Unconstrained by relators.
  • adj. Unconstrained by quantifiers.
  • adj. Unobstructed, without blockages.
  • adj. Not in use
  • adj. Without obligations.
  • adj. With very few limitation on distribution or improvement.
  • adj. Without; not containing (what is specified).
  • adj. Of identifiers, not bound.
  • adj. Not attached; loose.
  • adj. That can be used by itself, unattached to another morpheme.
  • adj. Intended for release, as opposed to a checked version.
  • adv. Without needing to pay.
  • v. To make free; set at liberty; release; rid of that which confines, limits, embarrasses, or oppresses.
  • n. Abbreviation of free kick.
  • n. free transfer
  • n. The usual means of restarting play after a foul is committed, where the non-offending team restarts from where the foul was committed.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Exempt from subjection to the will of others; not under restraint, control, or compulsion; able to follow one's own impulses, desires, or inclinations; determining one's own course of action; not dependent; at liberty.
  • adj. Not under an arbitrary or despotic government; subject only to fixed laws regularly and fairly administered, and defended by them from encroachments upon natural or acquired rights; enjoying political liberty.
  • adj. Liberated, by arriving at a certain age, from the control of parents, guardian, or master.
  • adj. Not confined or imprisoned; released from arrest; liberated; at liberty to go.
  • adj. Not subjected to the laws of physical necessity; capable of voluntary activity; endowed with moral liberty; -- said of the will.
  • adj. Clear of offense or crime; guiltless; innocent.
  • adj. Unconstrained by timidity or distrust; unreserved; ingenuous; frank; familiar; communicative.
  • adj. Unrestrained; immoderate; lavish; licentious; -- used in a bad sense.
  • adj. Not close or parsimonious; liberal; open-handed; lavish.
  • adj. Exempt; clear; released; liberated; not encumbered or troubled with; ; -- followed by from, or, rarely, by of.
  • adj. Characteristic of one acting without restraint; charming; easy.
  • adj. Ready; eager; acting without spurring or whipping; spirited.
  • adj. Invested with a particular freedom or franchise; enjoying certain immunities or privileges; admitted to special rights; -- followed by of.
  • adj. Thrown open, or made accessible, to all; to be enjoyed without limitations; unrestricted; not obstructed, engrossed, or appropriated; open; -- said of a thing to be possessed or enjoyed.
  • adj. Not gained by importunity or purchase; gratuitous; spontaneous
  • adj. Not arbitrary or despotic; assuring liberty; defending individual rights against encroachment by any person or class; instituted by a free people; -- said of a government, institutions, etc.
  • adj. Certain or honorable; the opposite of base
  • adj. Privileged or individual; the opposite of common
  • adj. Not united or combined with anything else; separated; dissevered; unattached; at liberty to escape
  • adv. Freely; willingly.
  • adv. Without charge.
  • transitive v. To make free; to set at liberty; to rid of that which confines, limits, embarrasses, oppresses, etc.; to release; to disengage; to clear; -- followed by from, and sometimes by off
  • transitive v. To remove, as something that confines or bars; to relieve from the constraint of.
  • transitive v. To frank.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not subjected to physical or moral restriction or control, either absolutely or in one or more particulars; able to act without external controlling interference; being at liberty: said of persons and of their acts or functions: as, free thought; a free conscience; free will or choice; the prisoner was set free; he was free to go or to stay.
  • Unrestrained in movement; not constrained, as by fastenings, to remain in a certain position or to move in a certain direction: as, to get one's arm free; the free motion of a particle in space. See def. 17.
  • Specifically, not subject to arbitrary, despotic, or autocratic governmental control, but existing under a government and laws based on the consent, expressed or implied, of the majority of the governed; having civil liberty: as, a free state or people; a free church.
  • Based on the principles of civil liberty; not arbitrary, despotic, or autocratic: as, a free constitution or government.
  • Characterized by liberty of action or expression; unreserved, open, frank, ingenuous, etc.: often with the implication of undue liberty.
  • Loose; at liberty; wild: often used in old English poetry, mainly for alliteration, without special significance.
  • Unrestrained by decency; bold; indecent.
  • Clear of obstruction or impediment; not hindered or restricted; unobstructed: as, free motion; the water has a free passage or channel; a free field of action.
  • Clear or exempt (from something); having immunity: with from, or sometimes of: as, free from disease, or from faults; a grove free from underbrush.
  • Open for use or enjoyment; generally accessible or available; not appropriated; unrestricted: as, air and water are free; the ocean is a free highway for all nations; a free library.
  • Specifically, not encumbered with taxes or customs-duties.
  • Gratuitous; without compensation or reward; clear of equivalent or reciprocation: as, free schools or education; a free table; a free gift or service.
  • Liberal; not parsimonious or sparing; giving or using, or disposed to give or use, generously or abundantly: as, he is very free with his money; a free patron of art.
  • Invested with the rights or immunities (of); having a right to the freedom, enjoyment, or use (of): with of: as, a man free of the city of London.
  • Ready; eager; not dull; acting without compulsion.
  • Not holding strictly to rule or form or to an original: as, a free drawing; a free translation; a free fugue.
  • Not attached or fixed; moving freely, or able to do so; detached from some support: as, the free larval form of an animal afterward becoming fixed.
  • Specifically
  • In chem., not chemically combined with any other body; at liberty to escape: as, free carbonic-acid gas.
  • In botany, not adnate to other organs: as, a free ovary (that is, one not united with the calyx); a free placenta (one detached from the walls of the ovary). It is sometimes used in the sense of distinct, or not adnate to adjacent organs of the same kind.
  • In entomology, unrestrained in articulate movement; movable at the point of contact.
  • Said of those parts of a limb which are beyond the common integument of the body.
  • Noble.
  • To use liberties with; use, or make use of, with undue freedom.
  • n. A person of free or noble birth; often, in early poetry, a lady.
  • In a free manner, in any sense of the adjective; freely; with freedom or liberty.
  • To make free; release from restraint or constraint; specifically, to release from bondage or from imprisonment: as, to free prisoners or slaves.
  • To rid, as from something obstructive or restrictive; clear; disentangle; disengage: with from or of: as, to free a man from debt, or the feet from fetters; to free the lungs of morbid matter; to free a ship from water by pumping it out.
  • To remove.
  • To clear from blame or stain; absolve from some charge; gain pardon for.
  • To indorse and send free by mail; frank.
  • To make free; take liberties: followed by with.
  • In horticulture, abundantly blooming or fruiting; also, of profuse and rapid growth.

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

  • v. grant relief or an exemption from a rule or requirement to
  • adj. not literal
  • adj. not occupied or in use
  • v. remove or force out from a position
  • v. part with a possession or right
  • adj. not held in servitude
  • v. let off the hook
  • v. relieve from
  • v. free from obligations or duties
  • adj. able to act at will; not hampered; not under compulsion or restraint
  • adj. unconstrained or not chemically bound in a molecule or not fixed and capable of relatively unrestricted motion
  • v. make (information) available for publication
  • v. make (assets) available
  • adj. not fixed in position
  • v. free or remove obstruction from
  • n. people who are free
  • adv. without restraint
  • adj. costing nothing
  • adj. completely wanting or lacking
  • v. release (gas or energy) as a result of a chemical reaction or physical decomposition
  • v. grant freedom to; free from confinement
  • adj. not taken up by scheduled activities


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

Middle English fre, from Old English frēo. V., from Middle English freen, from Old English frēon, to love, set free.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English fre, from Old English frēo, Proto-Germanic *frijaz, from Proto-Indo-European *prei- (“to be fond of”), *prey-. Compare West Frisian frij, Dutch vrij, German frei, Danish fri.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • FrEE: free v. fee

    July 30, 2009

  • Very powerful. People love anything that's Free. Particularly useful to generate new leads.

    '15 words that will make you money'

    July 19, 2009

  • The use of "for free" in (mostly advertising) copy is not correct. In the context of pricing or cost, "free", like "cheap", is an adjective. You would not say "You can get things here for cheap" and you should not say "You can get things here for free". "For" is a preposition and can only be followed by certain words or phrases. (e.g. This is for you. And: This blade is used for cutting some of our toughest materials). Like the words "slow" and "slim", "free" can either be an adjective (e.g. Get your free sample here) or a verb (e.g. I will free the bird from its cage), but it is not the kind of word - such as a noun or a pronoun - that can be preceded by a preposition.

    June 27, 2009

  • I am free to think what I want.

    September 16, 2008

  • "We all pay for life with death, so everything in between should be free."

    - Bill Hicks.

    July 7, 2008

  • i like this word

    i am as free as a bird

    June 9, 2008

  • Without limits, no boundaries, without cost, open, wild.

    December 19, 2007