—adj. 1. enjoying personal rights or liberty, as a person who is not in slavery: a land of free people. 2. pertaining to or reserved for those who enjoy personal liberty: They were thankful to be living on free soil. 3. existing under, characterized by, or possessing civil and political liberties that are, as a rule, constitutionally guaranteed by representative government: the free nations of the world. 4. enjoying political autonomy, as a people or country not under foreign rule; independent.
5. exempt from external authority, interference, restriction, etc., as a person or one's will, thought, choice, action, etc.; independent; unrestricted.
6. able to do something at will; at liberty: free to choose. 7. clear of obstructions or obstacles, as a road or corridor: The highway is now free of fallen rock. 8. not occupied or in use: I'll try to phone her again if the line is free. 9. exempt or released from something specified that controls, restrains, burdens, etc. (usually fol. by from or of): free from worry; free of taxes. 10. having immunity or being safe (usually fol. by from): free from danger. 11. provided without, or not subject to, a charge or payment: free parking; a free sample. 12. given without consideration of a return or reward: a free offer of legal advice. 13. unimpeded, as motion or movement; easy, firm, or swift.
14. not held fast; loose; unattached: to get one's arm free. 15. not joined to or in contact with something else: The free end of the cantilever sagged. 16. acting without self-restraint or reserve: to be too free with one's tongue. 17. ready or generous in giving; liberal; lavish: to be free with one's advice. 18. given readily or in profusion; unstinted.
19. frank and open; unconstrained, unceremonious, or familiar.
20. unrestrained by decency; loose or licentious: free behavior. 21. not subject to special regulations, restrictions, duties, etc.: The ship was given free passage. 22. of, pertaining to, or characterized by free enterprise: a free economy. 23. that may be used by or is open to all: a free market. 24. engaged in by all present; general: a free fight. 25. not literal, as a translation, adaptation, or the like; loose.
26. uncombined chemically: free oxygen. 27. traveling without power; under no force except that of gravity or inertia: free flight. 28. Phonet.(of a vowel) situated in an open syllable (opposed to checked).
29. at liberty to enter and enjoy at will (usually fol. by of): to be free of a friend's house. 30. not subject to rules, set forms, etc.: The young students had an hour of free play between classes. 31. easily worked, as stone, land, etc.
32. Math.(of a vector) having specified magnitude and direction but no specified initial point. Cf. bound1 (def. 9).
33. Also,large.Naut.(of a wind) nearly on the quarter, so that a sailing vessel may sail free.
34. not containing a specified substance (often used in combination): a sugar-free soft drink. 35. (of a linguistic form) occurring as an independent construction, without necessary combination with other forms, as most words. Cf. bound1 (def. 11).
36. for free,Informal.without charge: The tailor mended my jacket for free. 37. free and clear,Law.without any encumbrance, as a lien or mortgage: They owned their house free and clear. 38. free and easy, a. unrestrained; casual; informal.
b. excessively or inappropriately casual; presumptuous.
39. set free, to release; liberate; free: The prisoners were set free. 40. with a free hand, generously; freely; openhandedly: He entertains visitors with a free hand. 41. without cost, payment, or charge.
—adv. 1. in a free manner; freely.
2. Naut.away from the wind, so that a sailing vessel need not be close-hauled: running free. 3. make free with, a. to use as one's own; help oneself to: If you make free with their liquor, you won't be invited again. b. to treat with too much familiarity; take liberties with.
—v.t. 1. to make free; set at liberty; release from bondage, imprisonment, or restraint.
2. to exempt or deliver (usually fol. by from).
3. to relieve or rid (usually fol. by of): to free oneself of responsibility. 4. to disengage; clear (usually fol. by from or of).
5. free up, a. to release, as from restrictions: Congress voted to free up funds for the new highway system. b. to disentangle: It took an hour to free up the traffic jam.