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free ride (plural free rides)

  1. (idiomatic) An opportunity or benefit which has no cost, especially one enjoyed or undertaken at the expense of others.
    • 1980 March 31, "The Shaky House of Cards," Time:
      Previously, shoppers were given a free ride on charges until the end of the month. Now interest will start on the day of purchase on accounts with balances.
    • 2006 April 9, "A Yankees Station in the Bronx," New York Times (retrieved 11 June 2009):
      Financially, the two New York teams have not asked for the sort of free ride at taxpayer expense that has been commonplace elsewhere.


free ride (third-person singular simple present free rides, present participle free riding, simple past free rode, past participle free ridden)

  1. To take a free ride; to take advantage of a benefit without contributing.
    • 1999, J. Samuel Barkin, ‎George E. Shambaugh, Anarchy and the Environment, →ISBN:
      Finally, the level of excludahility of a CPR should affect the propensity to free ride.
    • 2000, André Blais, To Vote Or Not to Vote?: The Merits and Limits of Rational Choice Theory, →ISBN, page 119-120:
      Less than half the participants chose to free ride in each of the first two experiments, but the great majority (77 percent) did in the last.
    • 2013, Kenneth Godwin, ‎Scott H. Ainsworth, ‎Erik Godwin, Lobbying and Policymaking, →ISBN:
      If an issue involves a purely private good such as a regulatory waiver or a tax loophole that would benefit only a single corporation, there is no opportunity to free ride.

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