Meaning of FREE in English

I. ˈfrē adjective

( fre·er ; fre·est )

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English frēo; akin to Old High German frī free, Welsh rhydd, Sanskrit priya own, dear

Date: before 12th century


a. : having the legal and political rights of a citizen

b. : enjoying civil and political liberty

free citizens

c. : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination

d. : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another


a. : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself

b. : determined by the choice of the actor or performer

free actions

c. : made, done, or given voluntarily or spontaneously


a. : relieved from or lacking something and especially something unpleasant or burdensome

free from pain

a speech free of political rhetoric

— often used in combination

error -free

b. : not bound, confined, or detained by force


a. : having no trade restrictions

b. : not subject to government regulation

c. of foreign exchange : not subject to restriction or official control


a. : having no obligations (as to work) or commitments

I'll be free this evening

b. : not taken up with commitments or obligations

a free evening

6. : having a scope not restricted by qualification

a free variable


a. : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded

free to leave

b. : not being used or occupied

waved with his free hand

c. : not hampered or restricted in its normal operation


a. : not fastened

the free end of the rope

b. : not confined to a particular position or place

in twelve-tone music, no note is wholly free for it must hold its place in the series — J. L. Stewart

c. : capable of moving or turning in any direction

a free particle

d. : performed without apparatus

free tumbling

e. : done with artificial aids (as pitons) used only for protection against falling and not for support

a free climb


a. : not parsimonious

free spending

b. : outspoken

c. : availing oneself of something without stint

d. : frank , open

e. : overly familiar or forward in action or attitude

f. : licentious

10. : not costing or charging anything



(1) : not united with, attached to, combined with, or mixed with something else : separate

free ores

a free surface of a bodily part

(2) : freestanding

a free column

b. : chemically uncombined

free oxygen

free acids

c. : not permanently attached but able to move about

a free electron in a metal

d. : capable of being used alone as a meaningful linguistic form

the word hats is a free form

— compare bound V,7


a. : not literal or exact

free translation

b. : not restricted by or conforming to conventional forms

free skating

13. : favorable — used of a wind blowing from a direction more than six points from dead ahead

14. : not allowing slavery

15. : open to all comers

• free·ness -nəs noun

- for free


free , independent , sovereign , autonomous mean not subject to the rule or control of another. free stresses the complete absence of external rule and the full right to make all of one's own decisions

you're free to do as you like

independent implies a standing alone; applied to a state it implies lack of connection with any other having power to interfere with its citizens, laws, or policies

the colony's struggle to become independent

sovereign stresses the absence of a superior power and implies supremacy within a thing's own domain or sphere

separate and sovereign armed services

autonomous stresses independence in matters pertaining to self-government

in this denomination each congregation is regarded as autonomous

II. transitive verb

( freed ; free·ing )

Date: before 12th century


a. : to cause to be free

b. : to relieve or rid of what restrains, confines, restricts, or embarrasses

free a person from debt

— often used with up

free up space on the hard drive

c. : disentangle , clear

2. obsolete : banish

• fre·er noun


free , release , liberate , emancipate , manumit mean to set loose from restraint or constraint. free implies a usually permanent removal from whatever binds, confines, entangles, or oppresses

freed the animals from their cages

release suggests a setting loose from confinement, restraint, or a state of pressure or tension, often without implication of permanent liberation

released his anger on a punching bag

liberate stresses particularly the resulting state of liberty

liberated their country from the tyrant

emancipate implies the liberation of a person from subjection or domination

labor-saving devices emancipated us from household drudgery

manumit implies emancipation from slavery

the document manumitted the slaves

III. adverb

Date: 1559

1. : in a free manner

2. : without charge

3. : with the wind more than six points from dead ahead

sailing free

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.