Definitions

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

  • noun The ability or discretion to choose; free choice.
  • noun The power of making choices that are neither determined by natural causality nor predestined by fate or divine will.

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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • noun the power of making free choices unconstrained by external agencies

Etymologies

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

[Middle English fre wil, translation of Late Latin līberum arbitrium : Latin līberum, neuter of līber, free + Latin arbitrium, will.]

Examples

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  • What some whales have.

    September 29, 2008