American English

Definition of free adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    , freest
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    not controlled
  1. 1not under the control or in the power of someone else; able to do what you want I have no ambitions other than to have a happy life and be free. Students have a free choice of courses in their final year. free 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. 2not restricted or controlled by anyone else; able to do or say what you want A true democracy complete with free speech and a free press was called for. the country's first free election They gave me free access to all the files.
  3. not prisoner
  4. 3(of a person) not a prisoner or slave He walked out of jail a free man.
  5. animal/bird
  6. 4not tied up or in a cage The researchers set the birds free.
  7. no payment
  8. 5costing nothing Admission is free. free samples/tickets/advice We're offering a fabulous free gift with each copy you buy. You can't expect people to work for free (= without payment).
  9. not blocked
  10. 6clear; not blocked Ensure that there is a free flow of air around the machine.
  11. without something
  12. 7free from/of something not containing or affected by something harmful or unpleasant free from difficulty/doubt/fear free from artificial colors and flavorings It was several weeks before he was completely free of pain.
  13. 8-free (in adjectives) without the thing mentioned a virtually fat-free meal tax-free earnings a trouble-free life
  14. not attached/trapped
  15. 9free (of something) not attached to something or trapped by something Pull 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.
  16. not being used
  17. 10not being used He held out his free hand and I took it. Is this seat free?
  18. not busy
  19. 11free (for something) (of a person or time) without particular plans or arrangements; not busy If 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)?
  20. ready to give
  21. 12free with something (often disapproving) ready to give something, especially when it is not wanted He's too free with his opinions.
  22. translation
  23. 13a free translation is not exact but gives the general meaning compare literal
  24. Idioms
    be home free
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    to have done something successfully, especially when it was difficult I could see the finish line and thought I was home free.
    free and easy
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    informal; relaxed Life was never going to be so free and easy again.
    get, have, etc. a free hand
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    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
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    to get or take something without paying because someone else is paying for it
    give/allow somebody/something free/full rein, give/allow free/full rein to something
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    to give someone complete freedom of action; to allow a feeling to be expressed freely The designer was given free rein. The script allows full rein to her larger-than-life acting style. When I paint I just give my imagination free rein.
    it's a free country (informal)
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    used as a reply when someone suggests that you should not do something It's a free country; I'll say whatever I want!
    there's no such thing as a free lunch (informal)
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    used to say that it is not possible to get something for nothing
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: free