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free Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun people who are free
    free people.
    • the home of the free and the brave
  2. verb grant freedom to; free from confinement
    unloosen; unloose; loose; release; liberate.
  3. verb relieve from
    disembarrass; rid.
    • Rid the house of pests
  4. verb remove or force out from a position
    • The dentist dislodged the piece of food that had been stuck under my gums
    • He finally could free the legs of the earthquake victim who was buried in the rubble
  5. verb grant relief or an exemption from a rule or requirement to
    relieve; exempt.
    • She exempted me from the exam
  6. verb make (information) available for publication
    • release the list with the names of the prisoners
  7. verb free from obligations or duties
  8. verb free or remove obstruction from
    • free a path across the cluttered floor
  9. verb let off the hook
    absolve; justify.
    • I absolve you from this responsibility
  10. verb part with a possession or right
    release; relinquish; give up; resign.
    • I am relinquishing my bedroom to the long-term house guest
    • resign a claim to the throne
  11. verb release (gas or energy) as a result of a chemical reaction or physical decomposition
    release; liberate.
  12. verb make (assets) available
    release; unblock; unfreeze.
    • release the holdings in the dictator's bank account
  13. adjective able to act at will; not hampered; not under compulsion or restraint
    • free enterprise
    • a free port
    • a free country
    • I have an hour free
    • free will
    • free of racism
    • feel free to stay as long as you wish
    • a free choice
  14. adjective unconstrained or not chemically bound in a molecule or not fixed and capable of relatively unrestricted motion
    • free expansion
    • free oxygen
    • a free electron
  15. adjective satellite costing nothing
    costless; complimentary; gratis; gratuitous.
    • complimentary tickets
    • free admission
  16. adjective satellite not occupied or in use
    • a free locker
    • a free lane
  17. adjective satellite not fixed in position
    • the detached shutter fell on him
    • he pulled his arm free and ran
  18. adjective not held in servitude
    • after the Civil War he was a free man
  19. adjective satellite not taken up by scheduled activities
    • a free hour between classes
    • spare time on my hands
  20. adjective satellite completely wanting or lacking
    barren; devoid; destitute; innocent.
    • writing barren of insight
    • young recruits destitute of experience
    • innocent of literary merit
    • the sentence was devoid of meaning
  21. adjective satellite not literal
    loose; liberal.
    • a loose interpretation of what she had been told
    • a free translation of the poem
  22. adverb without restraint
    • cows in India are running loose

Free adjective
OE. fre, freo, AS. freó, fri; akin to D. vrij, OS. & OHG. fri, G. frei, Icel. fri, Sw. & Dan. fri, Goth. freis, and also to Skr. prija beloved, dear, fr. pri to love, Goth. frijn. Cf. Affray, Belfry, Friday, Friend, Frith inclosure.
comparative Freer ; superlative Freest
  1. 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.
    That which has the power, or not the power, to operate, is that alone which is or is not free. Locke.
  2. 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.
  3. Liberated, by arriving at a certain age, from the control of parents, guardian, or master.
  4. Not confined or imprisoned; released from arrest; liberated; at liberty to go.
    Set an unhappy prisoner free. Prior.
  5. Not subjected to the laws of physical necessity; capable of voluntary activity; endowed with moral liberty; -- said of the will.
    Not free, what proof could they have given sincere Of true allegiance, constant faith, or love. Milton.
  6. Clear of offense or crime; guiltless; innocent.
    My hands are guilty, but my heart is free. Dryden.
  7. Unconstrained by timidity or distrust; unreserved; ingenuous; frank; familiar; communicative.
    He was free only with a few. Milward.
  8. Unrestrained; immoderate; lavish; licentious; -- used in a bad sense.
    The critics have been very free in their censures. Felton.
    A man may live a free life as to wine or women. Shelley.
  9. Not close or parsimonious; liberal; open-handed; lavish; as, free with his money.
  10. Exempt; clear; released; liberated; not encumbered or troubled with; as, free from pain; free from a burden; -- followed by from, or, rarely, by of.
    Princes declaring themselves free from the obligations of their treaties. Bp. Burnet.
  11. Characteristic of one acting without restraint; charming; easy.
  12. Ready; eager; acting without spurring or whipping; spirited; as, a free horse.
  13. Invested with a particular freedom or franchise; enjoying certain immunities or privileges; admitted to special rights; -- followed by of.
    He therefore makes all birds, of every sect, Free of his farm. Dryden.
  14. 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; as, a free school.
    Why, sir, I pray, are not the streets as free For me as for you? Shak.
  15. Not gained by importunity or purchase; gratuitous; spontaneous; as, free admission; a free gift.
  16. 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.
  17. (O. Eng. Law) Certain or honorable; the opposite of base; as, free service; free socage. Burrill.
  18. (Law) Privileged or individual; the opposite of common; as, a free fishery; a free warren. Burrill.
  19. Not united or combined with anything else; separated; dissevered; unattached; at liberty to escape; as, free carbonic acid gas; free cells.
Free adverb
  1. Freely; willingly. Obs.
    I as free forgive you As I would be forgiven. Shak.
  2. Without charge; as, children admitted free.
Free transitive verb
OE. freen, freoien, AS. freógan. See Free, a.
imperfect & past participle Freed ; present participle & verbal noun Freeing
  1. 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; as, to free a captive or a slave; to be freed of these inconveniences. Clarendon.
    Our land is from the rage of tigers freed. Dryden.
    Arise, . . . free thy people from their yoke. Milton.
  2. To remove, as something that confines or bars; to relieve from the constraint of.
    This master key Frees every lock, and leads us to his person. Dryden.
  3. To frank. Obs. Johnson.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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