— freeness , n.
/free/ , adj., freer, freest , adv., v., freed, freeing .
1. enjoying personal rights or liberty, as a person who is not in slavery: a land of free people.
2. pertaining to or reserved for those who enjoy personal liberty: They were thankful to be living on free soil.
3. existing under, characterized by, or possessing civil and political liberties that are, as a rule, constitutionally guaranteed by representative government: the free nations of the world.
4. enjoying political autonomy, as a people or country not under foreign rule; independent.
5. exempt from external authority, interference, restriction, etc., as a person or one's will, thought, choice, action, etc.; independent; unrestricted.
6. able to do something at will; at liberty: free to choose.
7. clear of obstructions or obstacles, as a road or corridor: The highway is now free of fallen rock.
8. not occupied or in use: I'll try to phone her again if the line is free.
9. exempt or released from something specified that controls, restrains, burdens, etc. (usually fol. by from or of ): free from worry; free of taxes.
10. having immunity or being safe (usually fol. by from ): free from danger.
11. provided without, or not subject to, a charge or payment: free parking; a free sample.
12. given without consideration of a return or reward: a free offer of legal advice.
13. unimpeded, as motion or movement; easy, firm, or swift.
14. not held fast; loose; unattached: to get one's arm free.
15. not joined to or in contact with something else: The free end of the cantilever sagged.
16. acting without self-restraint or reserve: to be too free with one's tongue.
17. ready or generous in giving; liberal; lavish: to be free with one's advice.
18. given readily or in profusion; unstinted.
19. frank and open; unconstrained, unceremonious, or familiar.
20. unrestrained by decency; loose or licentious: free behavior.
21. not subject to special regulations, restrictions, duties, etc.: The ship was given free passage.
22. of, pertaining to, or characterized by free enterprise: a free economy.
23. that may be used by or is open to all: a free market.
24. engaged in by all present; general: a free fight.
25. not literal, as a translation, adaptation, or the like; loose.
26. uncombined chemically: free oxygen.
27. traveling without power; under no force except that of gravity or inertia: free flight.
28. Phonet. (of a vowel) situated in an open syllable (opposed to checked ).
29. at liberty to enter and enjoy at will (usually fol. by of ): to be free of a friend's house.
30. not subject to rules, set forms, etc.: The young students had an hour of free play between classes.
31. easily worked, as stone, land, etc.
32. Math. (of a vector) having specified magnitude and direction but no specified initial point. Cf. bound 1 (def. 9).
33. Also, large . Naut. (of a wind) nearly on the quarter, so that a sailing vessel may sail free.
34. not containing a specified substance (often used in combination): a sugar-free soft drink.
35. (of a linguistic form) occurring as an independent construction, without necessary combination with other forms, as most words. Cf. bound 1 (def. 11).
36. for free , Informal. without charge: The tailor mended my jacket for free.
37. free and clear , Law. without any encumbrance, as a lien or mortgage: They owned their house free and clear.
38. free and easy ,
a. unrestrained; casual; informal.
b. excessively or inappropriately casual; presumptuous.
39. set free , to release; liberate; free: The prisoners were set free.
40. with a free hand , generously; freely; openhandedly: He entertains visitors with a free hand.
41. without cost, payment, or charge.
42. in a free manner; freely.
43. Naut. away from the wind, so that a sailing vessel need not be close-hauled: running free.
44. make free with ,
a. to use as one's own; help oneself to: If you make free with their liquor, you won't be invited again.
b. to treat with too much familiarity; take liberties with.
45. to make free; set at liberty; release from bondage, imprisonment, or restraint.
46. to exempt or deliver (usually fol. by from ).
47. to relieve or rid (usually fol. by of ): to free oneself of responsibility.
48. to disengage; clear (usually fol. by from or of ).
49. free up ,
a. to release, as from restrictions: Congress voted to free up funds for the new highway system.
b. to disentangle: It took an hour to free up the traffic jam.
[ bef. 900; ME fre, OE freo; c. Goth freis, OHG fri (G frei ), D vrij, Skt priyá- dear. Cf. FRIEND, FRIDAY ]
Syn. 44. See release .