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make free with (third-person singular simple present makes free with, present participle making free with, simple past and past participle made free with)

  1. To take advantage of (someone); to treat (someone) with too much familiarity, take liberties with (someone or something)
    • 1817, The Trial Between Mark Browne, Esq. and Martin Jos. Blake, Esq. for Adultery, London: John Fairburn, [1]
      Mr. Browne [] protested he had never made free with any woman but his wife, since his marriage.
    • 1993, Virgil Nemoianu, Romantic Irony and Biedermeier Tragicomedy, in Gerald Gillespie (ed.), Romantic Drama, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, [2]
      Although the theoretical strictures of Neoclassicism in Europe during the later seventeenth century and the eighteenth century banned generic mixtures, they were not too faithfully adhered to. There was always a folk theater that made free with the rules []
  2. To exploit (something), use freely, use to one's own advantage
    • 1871, George Eliot, Middlemarch, Chapter 12 [3]
      She was seated, as she observed, on her own brother's hearth, and had been Jane Featherstone five-and-twenty years before she had been Jane Waule, which entitled her to speak when her own brother's name had been made free with by those who had no right to it.
    • 1938, Xavier Herbert, Capricornia, Chapter VII, p. 113, [4]
      Oscar was [] reluctant to let a Poundamore make free with a Shillingsworth disgrace.
  3. To take (something) freely, help oneself to
    • 1767, Isaac Bickerstaffe, Love in a Village, Act I, Scene II, [5]
      [] I left my father's house unknown to any one, having made free with a coat and jacket of our gardener's which fitted me, by way of disguise: []
    • 1821, Sholto Percy and Reuben Percy, The Percy Anecdotes, London: T.Boys, Ludgate Hill, p. 125, [6]
      Pat, and one of the Danes, who was as much addicted to tippling as himself, being unfortunately together upon watch, they made free with the spirits, and fell asleep through drunkenness.

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