From Middle English *befreen, *bifreen, from Old English befrēoġan (“to free, liberate”); equivalent to be- + free. Cognate with West Frisian befrije (“to liberate”), Dutch bevrijden (“to liberate, deliver”), German befreien (“to set free, liberate”), Swedish befria (“to liberate, free, deliver”).
- (transitive) To make or set free; liberate; deliver; release.
- 1917, Massachusetts. Constitutional convention, Journal...:
- Such is the fascinating future for Russia in the event of the establishment and welding of the befreed Russian Nation into a strong and firm democratic State.
- 1975, Asia Institute, Hague, Netherlands, Asian perspectives:
- They helped rather the big industrialists than to befree the poors from the yoke of the money-lenders.