See also: -free

English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English free, fre, freo, from Old English frēo (free), from Proto-West Germanic *frī, from Proto-Germanic *frijaz (beloved, not in bondage), from Proto-Indo-European *priHós (dear, beloved), from *preyH- (to love, please). Related to friend.

The verb comes from Middle English freen, freoȝen, from Old English frēon, frēoġan (to free; make free), from Proto-West Germanic *frijōn, from Proto-Germanic *frijōną, from Proto-Indo-European *preyH-.

Pronunciation edit

 
A sign advertising free beer (obtainable without payment). It is a joke: every day the sign is read, the free beer will be available "tomorrow" (therefore never).
 
A "buy one get one free" sign at a flower stand (obtainable without additional payment).
 
This food product (half and half) is labelled "fat free", meaning it contains no detectable fat.

Adjective edit

free (comparative freer or free-er or (rare) freeër, superlative freest or free-est or (rare) freeëst)

  1. (social) Unconstrained.
    He was given free rein to do whatever he wanted.
    • 1610–1611 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene i]:
      Quickly, spirit! / Thou shalt ere long be free.
    • 1899, Stephen Crane, chapter 1, in Twelve O'Clock:
      There was some laughter, and Roddle was left free to expand his ideas on the periodic visits of cowboys to the town. “Mason Rickets, he had ten big punkins a-sittin' in front of his store, an' them fellers from the Upside-down-F ranch shot 'em up [] .”
    • 2013 August 10, Schumpeter, “Cronies and capitols”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8848:
      Policing the relationship between government and business in a free society is difficult. Businesspeople have every right to lobby governments, and civil servants to take jobs in the private sector.
    Synonyms: unconstrained, unfettered, unhindered
    Antonyms: constrained, restricted
    1. Not imprisoned or enslaved.
      a free man
      Antonyms: bound, enslaved, imprisoned
    2. Generous; liberal.
      He's very free with his money.
    3. (obsolete) Clear of offence or crime; guiltless; innocent.
    4. Without obligations.
      free time
    5. To be enjoyed by anyone freely.
      a free school
    6. (of a government, country) Upholding individual rights.
      This is a free country.
    7. (software) With no or only freedom-preserving limitations on distribution or modification.
      OpenOffice is free software.
      Synonym: libre
      Antonyms: proprietary, nonfree
    8. (software) Intended for release, as opposed to a checked version.
  2. Obtainable without any payment.
    • 2013 July 20, “The attack of the MOOCs”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Since the launch early last year of […] two Silicon Valley start-ups offering free education through MOOCs, massive open online courses, the ivory towers of academia have been shaken to their foundations. University brands built in some cases over centuries have been forced to contemplate the possibility that information technology will rapidly make their existing business model obsolete.
    The government provides free health care.
    It's free real estate.
    Synonyms: free of charge, gratis
    1. (by extension, chiefly used in advertising) Complimentary.
      Buy a TV to get a free DVD player!
  3. (abstract) Unconstrained.
    1. (mathematics) Unconstrained by relators.
      the free group on three generators
    2. (mathematics, logic) Unconstrained by quantifiers.
        is the free variable in  .
      Antonym: bound
    3. (programming) Unconstrained of identifiers, not bound.
      Synonym: unbound
      Antonym: bound
    4. (linguistics) (of a morpheme) That can be used by itself, unattached to another morpheme.
  4. (physical) Unconstrained.
    1. Unobstructed, without blockages.
      the drain was free
      Synonyms: clear, unobstructed
      Antonyms: blocked, obstructed
    2. Unattached or uncombined.
      a free radical
      Synonyms: loose, unfastened; see also Thesaurus:loose
    3. Not currently in use; not taken; unoccupied.
      You can sit on this chair; it's free.
    4. (botany, mycology) Not attached; loose.
      In this group of mushrooms, the gills are free.
      • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page 7:
        Furthermore, the free anterior margin of the lobule is arched toward the lobe and is often involute []
    5. (military) Of a rocket or missile: not under the control of a guidance system after being launched.
  5. Without; not containing (what is specified); exempt; clear; liberated.
    Synonym: without
    We had a wholesome, filling meal, free of meat.  I would like to live free from care in the mountains.
    • 1679-1715, Gilbert Burnet, The History of the Reformation of the Church of England:
      princes declaring themselves free from the obligations of their treaties
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter IV, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
      One morning I had been driven to the precarious refuge afforded by the steps of the inn, after rejecting offers from the Celebrity to join him in a variety of amusements. But even here I was not free from interruption, for he was seated on a horse-block below me, playing with a fox terrier.
  6. (dated) Ready; eager; acting without spurring or whipping; spirited.
    a free horse
  7. (dated) Invested with a particular freedom or franchise; enjoying certain immunities or privileges; admitted to special rights; followed by of.
  8. (UK, law, obsolete) Certain or honourable; the opposite of base.
    free service;  free socage
  9. (law) Privileged or individual; the opposite of common.
    a free fishery;  a free warren

Antonyms edit

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Hyponyms edit

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Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

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Adverb edit

free (comparative more free, superlative most free)

  1. Without needing to pay.
    Synonyms: for free, for nothing, gratis
    I got this bike free.
    • 1960 December, “The Glasgow Suburban Electrification is opened”, in Trains Illustrated, page 714:
      Above all, the 48-page timetables of the new service, which have been distributed free at every station in the scheme, are a model to the rest of B.R. For the first time on British Railways, so far as we are aware, a substantial timetable has been produced, not only without a single footnote but also devoid of all wearisome asterisks, stars, letter suffixes and other hieroglyphics.
  2. (obsolete) Freely; willingly.

Translations edit

Verb edit

 
A painting depicting mythical Greek hero Perseus freeing Andromeda, who was imprisoned by a sea monster

free (third-person singular simple present frees, present participle freeing, simple past and past participle freed)

  1. (transitive) To make free; set at liberty; release.
  2. (transitive) To rid of something that confines or oppresses.
    • 1885, Richard F. Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Night 564:
      Then I walked about, till I found on the further side, a great river of sweet water, running with a strong current; whereupon I called to mind the boat-raft I had made aforetime and said to myself, "Needs must I make another; haply I may free me from this strait. If I escape, I have my desire and I vow to Allah Almighty to forswear travel; and if I perish I shall be at peace and shall rest from toil and moil."
  3. (transitive, programming) To relinquish (previously allocated memory) to the system.
    • 2002, Jesse Liberty, SAMS Teach Yourself C++ in 24 Hours, page 148:
      There is no way to access that original area of memory, nor is there any way to free it before the program ends.

Synonyms edit

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

Noun edit

free (plural frees)

  1. (Australian rules football, Gaelic football) Abbreviation of free kick.
    • 2006, [1]:
      Whether deserved or not, the free gave Cresswell the chance to cover himself in glory with a shot on goal after the siren.
  2. (soccer) A free transfer.
    • 2011 September 21, Sam Lyon, “Man City 2 - 0 Birmingham”, in BBC Sport[2]:
      Hargreaves, who left Manchester United on a free during the summer, drilled a 22-yard beauty to open the scoring.
  3. (hurling) The usual means of restarting play after a foul is committed, where the non-offending team restarts from where the foul was committed.
  4. (swimming, informal) Abbreviation of freestyle.
    The team won the 200 meters free relay.

Translations edit

References edit

  • free”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.
  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2024), “free”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
  2. ^ "frei" in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache

Anagrams edit

Galician edit

Verb edit

free

  1. inflection of frear:
    1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular imperative

Low German edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle Low German vrîe, variant of vrî, from Old Saxon frī, from Proto-Germanic *frijaz, from Proto-Indo-European *prey (new). Compare Dutch vrij, West Frisian frij, English free, German frei.

Adjective edit

free (comparative fre'er, superlative freest)

  1. (rather rare) free

Declension edit

Derived terms edit