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



    BrE BrE//friː//
    ; NAmE NAmE//friː//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they free
    BrE BrE//friː//
    ; NAmE NAmE//friː//
    he / she / it frees
    BrE BrE//friːz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//friːz//
    past simple freed
    BrE BrE//friːd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//friːd//
    past participle freed
    BrE BrE//friːd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//friːd//
    -ing form freeing
    BrE BrE//ˈfriːɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfriːɪŋ//
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  1. 1  free somebody (from something) to allow somebody to leave prison or somewhere they have been kept against their will synonym release By the end of May nearly 100 of an estimated 2 000 political prisoners had been freed. The hijackers agreed to free a further ten hostages. The starting point for emancipation was the freeing of children of slaves born after a certain date.
  2. somebody/something trapped
  3. 2  free somebody/something/yourself (from something) to move somebody/something that is caught or fixed on something synonym release Three people were freed from the wreckage. She struggled to free herself. A good kick finally freed the door. He managed to free his arms from their bonds.
  4. remove something
  5. 3  free somebody/something of/from somebody/something to remove something that is unpleasant or not wanted from somebody/something synonym rid These exercises help free the body of tension. The police are determined to free the town of violent crime. The centre aims to free young people from dependency on drugs.
  6. make available
  7. 4free somebody/something (up) to make somebody/something available for a particular purpose We freed time each week for a project meeting. The government has promised to free up more resources for education.
  8. 5free somebody to do something to give somebody the extra time to do something that they want to do Winning the prize freed him to paint full-time.
  9. Word OriginOld English frēo (adjective), frēon (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vrij and German frei, from an Indo-European root meaning ‘to love’, shared by friend.Extra examples He had finally been freed of his responsibilities. She struggled to free herself from his grip. The court ruled that he should be freed on bail of $50 000. They succeeded in freeing their friends from prison. Counselling may help you to free yourself from the past. If the tax is lifted the government will be freed from its obligation to buy goods from those countries. Over 2 000 political prisoners were freed as a gesture of good will. The system freed teachers from the constraints of the old curriculum. The woman was freed by the Appeal Court this morning. They’re launching a campaign to free the three men. We aim to free young people from dependency on drugs.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: free