Definition of free adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



; friː
; ˈfriːər
; ˈfriːɪst

not controlled

1 not under the control or in the power of somebody else; able to do what you wantI have no ambitions other than to have a happy life and be free.Students have a free choice of courses in their final to do something You are free to come and go as you please. (informal) ‘Can I use the phone?’ ‘Please, feel free(= of course you can use it).’2 not restricted or controlled by anyone else; able to do or say what you wantA true democracy complete with free speech and a free press was called for.the country's first free electionThey gave me free access to all the files.

not prisoner

3 (of a person) not a prisoner or slaveHe walked out of jail a free man.


4 not tied up or in a cageThe researchers set the birds free.

no payment

5 costing nothingAdmission is samples/tickets/adviceWe're offering a fabulous free gift with each copy you buy.You can't expect people to work for free(= without payment).

not blocked

6 clear; not blockedEnsure there is a free flow of air around the machine.

without something

7 free from/of something not containing or affected by something harmful or unpleasantfree from difficulty/doubt/fearfree from artificial colours and flavouringsIt was several weeks before he was completely free of pain.8 -free (in adjectives) without the thing mentionedvirtually fat-free yogurttax-free earningsa trouble-free life

not attached/trapped

9 free (of something) not attached to something or trapped by somethingPull gently on the free end of the rope.They had to be cut free from their car after the accident.She finally managed to pull herself free.

not being used

10 not being usedHe held out his free hand and I took it.Is this seat free?

not busy

11 free (for something) (of a person or time) without particular plans or arrangements; not busyIf Sarah is free for lunch I'll take her out.Keep Friday night free for my party.What do you like to do in your free time(= when you are not working)?

ready to give

12 free with something (often disapproving) ready to give something, especially when it is not wantedHe's too free with his opinions.


13 a free translation is not exact but gives the general meaning compare literal

free and easy

informal; relaxed
Life was never going to be so free and easy again.

get, have, etc. a free hand

to get, have, etc. the opportunity to do what you want to do and to make your own decisions
I was given a free hand in designing the syllabus.

get, take, etc. a free ride

to get or take something without paying because somebody else is paying for it

it's a free country

(informal) used as a reply when somebody suggests that you should not do somethingIt's a free country; I'll say what I like!

there's no such thing as a free lunch

(informal) used to say that it is not possible to get something for nothing
more at be home free at home adverb, give/allow somebody/something free/full reingive/allow free/full rein to something at rein n.