Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Not imprisoned or confined.
  • adjective Not controlled by obligation or the will of another.
  • adjective Not controlled by another country or political power; independent.
  • adjective Governed by consent and possessing or granting civil liberties.
  • adjective Not subject to arbitrary interference by a government.
  • adjective Not enslaved.
  • adjective Not affected or restricted by a given condition or circumstance.
  • adjective Not subject to a given condition; exempt.
  • adjective Not bound by convention or the rules of form.
  • adjective Not literal or exact.
  • adjective Costing nothing; gratuitous.
  • adjective Publicly supported.
  • adjective Unobstructed; clear.
  • adjective Not occupied or used.
  • adjective Not taken up by scheduled activities.
  • adjective Immoderate in giving or spending; liberal or lavish.
  • adjective Frank or unguarded in expression or manner; open or outspoken.
  • adjective Given, made, or done of one's own accord; voluntary or spontaneous.
  • adjective Unconstrained; unconfined.
  • adjective Not fixed in position; capable of relatively unrestricted motion.
  • adjective Not chemically bound in a molecule.
  • adjective Involving no collisions or interactions.
  • adjective Empty or unoccupied.
  • adjective Nautical Favorable.
  • adjective Not bound, fastened, or attached.
  • adjective Being a form, especially a morpheme, that can stand as an independent word, such as boat or bring.
  • adjective Being a vowel in an open syllable, as the o in go.
  • adverb In a free manner; without restraint.
  • adverb Without charge.
  • transitive verb To make free, as from confinement or oppression.
  • transitive verb To relieve of a burden, obligation, or restraint.
  • transitive verb To remove obstructions or entanglements from; clear.
  • transitive verb To make available.
  • noun Freestyle.
  • idiom (for free) Without charge.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.

Etymologies

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; see prī- in Indo-European roots.]

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.

Examples

Comments

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

    December 19, 2007

  • i like this word

    i am as free as a bird

    June 9, 2008

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

    - Bill Hicks.

    July 7, 2008

  • I am free to think what I want.

    September 16, 2008

  • 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

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

    '15 words that will make you money'

    July 19, 2009

  • FrEE: free v. fee

    July 30, 2009