Definitions

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

  • noun The condition of not being in prison or captivity.
  • noun The condition of being free of restraints, especially the ability to act without control or interference by another or by circumstance.
  • noun The condition of not being controlled by another nation or political power; political independence.
  • noun The condition of not being subject to a despotic or oppressive power; civil liberty.
  • noun The condition of not being constrained or restricted in a specific aspect of life by a government or other power.
  • noun The condition of not being a slave.
  • noun The condition of not being affected or restricted by a given circumstance or condition.
  • noun The condition of not being bound by established conventions or rules.
  • noun The capacity to act by choice rather than by determination, as from fate or a deity; free will.
  • noun The right to unrestricted use; full access.
  • noun Ease or facility of movement.
  • noun Archaic Boldness in behavior; lack of modesty or reserve.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state or character of being free.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Exemption from arbitrary, despotic, or autocratic control, especially in civil matters; independence; civil liberty.
  • noun Frankness; openness; outspokenness; unrestrictedness.
  • noun License; improper familiarity; in a concrete sense (with a plural), a violation of the rules of decorum; an act of bold presumption.
  • noun The state of being clear or exempt (from something): as, freedom from sickness; freedom from care
  • noun Ease or facility (of doing anything): as, he speaks or acts with freedom.
  • noun Generosity; liberality; open-handedness.
  • noun The possession of particular privileges; franchise; immunity: as, the freedom of a city or of a corporation.
  • noun A free, unconditional grant; a free privilege or franchise.
  • noun In mathematics, capability of displacement in space.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The state of being free; exemption from the power and control of another; liberty; independence.
  • noun Privileges; franchises; immunities.
  • noun Exemption from necessity, in choise and action.
  • noun Ease; facility.
  • noun Frankness; openness; unreservedness.
  • noun Improper familiarity; violation of the rules of decorum; license.
  • noun obsolete Generosity; liberality.
  • noun a sum paid on entry to incorporations of trades.
  • noun the possession of the rights and privileges of a freeman of the city; formerly often, and now occasionally, conferred on one not a resident, as a mark of honorary distinction for public services.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English fredom, from Old English frēodōm : frēo, free; see free + -dōm, -dom.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

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

  • 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

  • "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

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