WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
free /fri/USA pronunciation
adj., fre•er, fre•est,adv., v., freed, free•ing.
Governmentenjoying personal rights or liberty:free from bondage.
Governmentexisting under, characterized by, or having civil and political liberties:the free nations of the world.
exempt from outside authority, interference, or restriction; independent:You have a free choice.
[be + ~ + to + verb] able to do something at will or as one wishes:They were free to go at any time.
clear of obstructions or obstacles; not blocked:a free flow of water.
without engagements or obligations:have free time after class.
not occupied or in use:The room is free now.
exempt or released; unburdened:She seems so free from worry.
provided without a charge:free parking.
loose; unattached:Tie the free end of the rope to the dock.
loose:He was a little too free and easy toward women.
ready or generous in giving; not holding back:free spending.
loose:a free translation of the speech.
in a free manner; freely.
no longer restrained or held back:The button came free and fell off.
[~ + object] to set at liberty:The enemy freed the hostages.
[~ + object + from + object] to exempt or deliver:hoped his new invention would free his people from hunger.
[~ + object + of + object] to relieve or rid :to free oneself of responsibility.
to disengage; clear: [~ + object]If you hold these packages I can free my arm and open the door.[~ + object + from + object]freed the trapped victims from the wreckage.
- [ ~ + up + obj] to release, as from restrictions:Can you free up some time to meet with us?
- to disentangle: [ ~ + up + obj]:to free up this stuck valve.[ ~ + obj + up]:to free it up.
free is an adjective and a verb, freely is an adverb, freedom is a noun:Are you free tomorrow evening? He worked hard to free the slaves from captivity. You may speak freely; you're among friends. We need some freedom of choice.
- Idiomsfor free, without charge:They mended my jacket for free.
- free and clear, without any debt or restriction:paid off the mortgage free and clear.
- Idiomsset free, to release; liberate: [set + object + ~]set the hostages free.[set + ~ + object]to set free the hostages.
- Idiomswith a free hand, generously:donated money with a free hand.
-free is attached to nouns to form adjectives with the meaning "not containing (the noun mentioned);
without'':sugar + -free → sugar-free (= not containing sugar); trouble + -free → trouble-free (= without trouble).
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
free /friː/ adj (freer, freest)
- able to act at will; not under compulsion or restraint
- having personal rights or liberty; not enslaved or confined
- (as noun): land of the free
- (often postpositive) and followed by from: not subject (to) or restricted (by some regulation, constraint, etc); exempt: a free market, free from pain
- (of a country, etc) autonomous or independent
- exempt from external direction or restriction; not forced or induced: free will
- not subject to conventional constraints: free verse
- (of jazz) totally improvised, with no preset melodic, harmonic, or rhythmic basis
- not exact or literal: a free translation
- costing nothing; provided without charge: free entertainment
- (of property) not subject to payment of rent or performance of services; freehold
- not subject to any burden or charge, such as a mortgage or lien; unencumbered
- (postpositive; often followed by of or with) ready or generous in using or giving; liberal; lavish: free with advice
- not occupied or in use; available: a free cubicle
- not occupied or busy; without previous engagements
- open or available to all; public
- without charge to the subscriber or user: freepost, freephone
- not fixed or joined; loose: the free end of a chain
- without obstruction or impediment: free passage
- chemically uncombined: free nitrogen
- denoting an occurrence of a variable not bound by a quantifier
- for free ⇒ not standard without charge or cost
- free and easy ⇒ casual or tolerant; easy-going
- make free with ⇒ to take liberties with; behave too familiarly towards
vb (frees, freeing, freed)(transitive)
- in a free manner; freely
- without charge or cost
- with the wind blowing from the quarter
Etymology: Old English frēo; related to Old Saxon, Old High German frī, Gothic freis free, Sanskrit priya dearˈfreely adv ˈfreeness n
- (sometimes followed by up) to set at liberty; release
- to remove obstructions, attachments, or impediments from; disengage
- often followed by of or from: to relieve or rid (of obstacles, pain, etc)
'free' also found in these entries: