Meaning of -FREE in English


combining form (Environment) (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) As the second element in a hyphenated adjective: not containing or involving the (usually undesirable) ingredient, factor, etc. named in the word before the hyphen. Etymology: A largely contextual development in the use of what is an ancient combining form in English: originally it meant 'exempt from the tax or charge named before the hyphen' (as in tax-free, toll-free, etc.) and this developed through the figurative sense 'not hampered by the trouble etc. named in the first word' (as in carefree and trouble-free) to the present use, in which ingredients or processes, often ones formerly thought desirable in the production of something, have been found to be unwanted by some section of the public, and the product is therefore advertised as being free from them. History and Usage: The sense of -free defined here has become particularly fashionable since the late seventies, especially through its use by advertisers (who possibly see it as a positive alternative--with connotations of liberation and cleanness-- to the rather negative suffix -less). The uses fall into a number of different groups, including those to do with special diets (alcohol-free, cholesterol-free, corn-free, dairy-free (an odd term out with animal-free in naming the generic source rather than the substance as the first word), gluten-free, meat-free, milk-free, sugar-free, wheat-free, and many others), those to do with pollutants or additives (additive-free (see additive), Alar-free (see Alar), CFC-free (see CFC), e-free (see E number), lead-free, etc.), those in which an undesirable process or activity is named first (cruelty-free, nuclear-free), and those with the name of an illness or infection as the first element (BSE-free, salmonella-free). Occasionally advertisers omit the hyphen, with unintentional comical effect: during the scare about salmonella in eggs in the UK in 1989, for example, some shops displayed posters advertising 'Fresh farm eggs--salmonella free'. The Saudis have oil, which the world wants. Now C. Schmidt & Sons, a Philadelphia brewery, has something the Saudis want--alcohol-free beer. Washington Post 23 June 1979, section D, p. 9 Special dishes which are gluten-free, dairy-free and meat-free. Hampstead & Highgate Express 7 Feb. 1986, p. 90 These contain a complex of high potency, dairy-free lactobacilli, good bacteria that help the body to maintain a positive balance. Health Shopper Jan./Feb. 1990, p. 4 The advice of the National Eczema Society is to use either liquids (none of which contains bleaches) or enzyme-free 'non-biological' detergents. Which? Apr. 1990, p. 190 We all feel virtuous because we have gone lead-free; but this is a separate issue from the greenhouse effect. Good Housekeeping May 1990, p. 17 They say they can deliver BSE-free embryos, but no one can guarantee that. Independent on Sunday 29 July 1990, Sunday Review section, p. 13

English colloquial dictionary, new words.      Английский разговорный словарь - новые слова.