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