See free software, free variable.

(03 Feb 2009)

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1. Exempt from subjection to the will of others; not under restraint, control, or compulsion; able to follow one's own impulses, desires, or inclinations; determining one's own course of action; not dependent; at liberty. "That which has the power, or not the power, to operate, is that alone which is or is not free." (Locke)

2. Not under an arbitrary or despotic government; subject only to fixed laws regularly and fairly administered, and defended by them from encroachments upon natural or acquired rights; enjoying political liberty.

3. Liberated, by arriving at a certain age, from the control of parents, guardian, or master.

4. Not confined or imprisoned; released from arrest; liberated; at liberty to go. "Set an unhappy prisoner free." (Prior)

5. Not subjected to the laws of physical necessity; capable of voluntary activity; endowed with moral liberty; said of the will. "Not free, what proof could they have given sincere Of true allegiance, constant faith, or love." (Milton)

6. Clear of offense or crime; guiltless; innocent. "My hands are guilty, but my heart is free." (Dryden)

7. Unconstrained by timidity or distrust; unreserved; ingenuous; frank; familiar; communicative. "He was free only with a few." (Milward)

8. Unrestrained; immoderate; lavish; licentious; used in a bad sense. "The critics have been very free in their censures." (Felton) "A man may live a free life as to wine or women." (Shelley)

9. Not close or parsimonious; liberal; open-handed; lavish; as, free with his money.

10. Exempt; clear; released; liberated; not encumbered or troubled with; as, free from pain; free from a burden; followed by from, or, rarely, by of. "Princes declaring themselves free from the obligations of their treaties." (Bp. Burnet)

11. Characteristic of one acting without restraint; charming; easy.

12. Ready; eager; acting without spurring or whipping; spirited; as, a free horse.

13. Invested with a particular freedom or franchise; enjoying certain immunities or privileges; admitted to special rights; followed by of. "He therefore makes all birds, of every sect, Free of his farm." (Dryden)

14. Thrown open, or made accessible, to all; to be enjoyed without limitations; unrestricted; not obstructed, engrossed, or appropriated; open; said of a thing to be possessed or enjoyed; as, a free school. "Why, sir, I pray, are not the streets as free For me as for you?" (Shak)

15. Not gained by importunity or purchase; gratuitous; spontaneous; as, free admission; a free gift.

16. Not arbitrary or despotic; assuring liberty; defending individual rights against encroachment by any person or class; instituted by a free people; said of a government, institutions, etc.

17. Certain or honorable; the opposite of base; as, free service; free socage.

18. Privileged or individual; the opposite of common; as, a free fishery; a free warren.

19. Not united or combined with anything else; separated; dissevered; unattached; at liberty to escape; as, free carbonic acid gas; free cells. Free agency, the capacity or power of choosing or acting freely, or without necessity or constraint upon the will. Free bench, to sail with the yards not braced in as sharp as when sailing closehauled, or close to the wind.

Origin: OE. Fre, freo, AS. Freo, fri; akin to D. Vrij, OS. & OHG. Fri, G. Frei, Icel. Fri, Sw. & Dan. Fri, Goth. Freis, and also to Skr. Prija beloved, dear, fr. Pri to love, Goth. Frijn. Cf. Affray, Belfry, Friday, Friend, Frith inclosure.

(01 Mar 1998)

Fred Waldorf Stewart, Fred Wharton Rankin, free < Prev | Next > free association, free bone flap, free border

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