Free
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Free
See also: -free

English

Etymology

From Middle English free, fre, freo, from Old English fr?o ("free"), from Proto-Germanic *frijaz ("beloved, not in bondage"), from Proto-Indo-European *priHós ("dear, beloved"), from *preyH- ("to love, to please"). Related to friend. Cognate with West Frisian frij ("free"), Dutch vrij ("free"), Low German free ("free"), German frei ("free"), Friede ("peace"), Danish, Swedish and Norwegian fri ("free"), Sanskrit (priyá).

Germanic and Celtic are the only Indo-European language branches in which the PIE word with the meaning of "dear, beloved" acquired the additional meaning of "free" in the sense of "not in bondage". This was an extension of the idea of "characteristic of those who are dear and beloved", in other words friends and tribe members (in contrast to unfree inhabitants from other tribes and prisoners of war, many of which were among the slaves - compare the Latin use of liberi to mean both "free persons" and "children of a family").[1][2]

The verb comes from Middle English freen, freo?en, from Old English fr?on, fr?o?an ("to free; make free").

Pronunciation

  • enPR: fr?, IPA(key): /f?i:/, [fi?]
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -i:
A sign advertising free beer (obtainable without payment), typically with some required purchase/catch.
A "buy one get one free" sign at a flower stand (obtainable without additional payment)
This food product is labelled "fat free", meaning it contains no fat

Adjective

free (comparative freer, superlative freest)

  1. (social) Unconstrained.
    He was given free rein to do whatever he wanted.
    • 1610-11?, Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act V, scene i:
      Quickly, spirit! / Thou shalt ere long be free.
    • 1899, Stephen Crane, chapter 1, in Twelve O'Clock:
      There was some laughter, and Roddle was left free to expand his ideas on the periodic visits of cowboys to the town. "Mason Rickets, he had ten big punkins a-sittin' in front of his store, an' them fellers from the Upside-down-F ranch shot 'em up [...]."
    • 2013 August 10, Schumpeter, "Cronies and capitols", in The Economist, volume 408, number 8848:
      Policing the relationship between government and business in a free society is difficult. Businesspeople have every right to lobby governments, and civil servants to take jobs in the private sector.
    Synonyms: unconstrained, unfettered, unhindered
    Antonyms: constrained, restricted
    1. Not imprisoned or enslaved.
      a free man
      Antonyms: bound, enslaved, imprisoned
    2. Unconstrained by timidity or distrust
      Synonyms: unreserved, frank, communicative
      • 1818, Richard Milward, The Table Talk of John Selden, page xxiv:
        Dr. Wilkins says, "He was naturally of a serious temper, which was somewhat soured by his sufferings, so that he was free only with a few."
    3. Generous; liberal.
      He's very free with his money.
    4. (obsolete) Clear of offence or crime; guiltless; innocent.
    5. Without obligations.
      free time
    6. 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.
      a free school
    7. 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.
      This is a free country.
    8. (software) With no or only freedom-preserving limitations on distribution or modification.
      OpenOffice is free software.
      Synonym: libre
      Antonym: proprietary
    9. (software) Intended for release, as opposed to a checked version.
  2. Obtainable without any payment.
    • 2013 July 20, "The attack of the MOOCs", in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Since the launch early last year of […] two Silicon Valley start-ups offering free education through MOOCs, massive open online courses, the ivory towers of academia have been shaken to their foundations. University brands built in some cases over centuries have been forced to contemplate the possibility that information technology will rapidly make their existing business model obsolete.
    The government provides free health care.
    It's free real estate.
    Synonyms: free of charge, gratis
    1. (by extension, chiefly advertising slang) complimentary
      Buy a TV to get a free DVD player!
  3. (abstract) Unconstrained.
    1. (mathematics) Unconstrained by relators.
      the free group on three generators
    2. (mathematics, logic) Unconstrained by quantifiers.
      is the free variable in .
      Antonym: bound
    3. (programming) Unconstrained of identifiers, not bound.
      Synonym: unbound
      Antonym: bound
    4. (linguistics) (of a morpheme) That can be used by itself, unattached to another morpheme.
  4. (physical) Unconstrained.
    1. Unobstructed, without blockages.
      the drain was free
      Synonyms: clear, unobstructed
      Antonyms: blocked, obstructed
    2. Unattached or uncombined.
      a free radical
      Synonyms: loose, unfastened; see also Thesaurus:loose
    3. Not currently in use; not taken; unoccupied.
      You can sit on this chair; it's free.
    4. (botany, mycology) Not attached; loose.
      In this group of mushrooms, the gills are free.
      • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, ->ISBN, page 7:
        Furthermore, the free anterior margin of the lobule is arched toward the lobe and is often involute [...]
  5. Without; not containing (what is specified); exempt; clear; liberated.
    We had a wholesome, filling meal, free of meat.  I would like to live free from care in the mountains.
    • 1679-1715, Gilbert Burnet, The History of the Reformation of the Church of England:
      princes declaring themselves free from the obligations of their treaties
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
      One morning I had been driven to the precarious refuge afforded by the steps of the inn, after rejecting offers from the Celebrity to join him in a variety of amusements. But even here I was not free from interruption, for he was seated on a horse-block below me, playing with a fox terrier.
    Synonym: without
  6. (dated) Ready; eager; acting without spurring or whipping; spirited.
    a free horse
  7. (dated) Invested with a particular freedom or franchise; enjoying certain immunities or privileges; admitted to special rights; followed by of.
  8. (Britain, law, obsolete) Certain or honourable; the opposite of base.
    free service;  free socage
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Burrill to this entry?)
  9. (law) Privileged or individual; the opposite of common.
    a free fishery;  a free warren
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Burrill to this entry?)

Antonyms

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Hyponyms

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Derived terms

Related terms

Related terms of free

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Adverb

free (comparative more free, superlative most free)

  1. Without needing to pay.
    I got this bike free.
    Synonyms: for free, for nothing
  2. (obsolete) Freely; willingly.
    • c. 1601-1602, Henry VIII, published 1623:
      I as free forgive you / As I would be forgiven.

Translations

Verb

A painting depicting mythical Greek hero Perseus freeing Andromeda, who was imprisoned by a sea monster

free (third-person singular simple present frees, present participle freeing, simple past and past participle freed)

  1. (transitive) To make free; set at liberty; release.
  2. (transitive) To rid of something that confines or oppresses.
    • 1885, Richard F. Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Night 564:
      Then I walked about, till I found on the further side, a great river of sweet water, running with a strong current; whereupon I called to mind the boat-raft I had made aforetime and said to myself, "Needs must I make another; haply I may free me from this strait. If I escape, I have my desire and I vow to Allah Almighty to forswear travel; and if I perish I shall be at peace and shall rest from toil and moil."

Derived terms

Synonyms

Translations

Noun

free (plural frees)

  1. (Australian rules football, Gaelic football) Abbreviation of free kick.
    • 2006, [1]:
      Whether deserved or not, the free gave Cresswell the chance to cover himself in glory with a shot on goal after the siren.
  2. free transfer
    • 2011 September 21, Sam Lyon, "Man City 2 - 0 Birmingham", in BBC Sport[2]:
      Hargreaves, who left Manchester United on a free during the summer, drilled a 22-yard beauty to open the scoring.
  3. (hurling) The usual means of restarting play after a foul is committed, where the non-offending team restarts from where the foul was committed.

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

References

  1. ^ "free" in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001-2019.
  2. ^ "frei" in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache

Anagrams


Galician

Verb

free

  1. first-person singular present subjunctive of frear
  2. third-person singular present subjunctive of frear

Low German

Alternative forms

Etymology

From Middle Low German vrîe, variant of vrî, from Old Saxon fr?, from Proto-Germanic *frijaz, from Proto-Indo-European *prey ("new"). Compare Dutch vrij, West Frisian frij, English free, German frei.

Adjective

free (comparative fre'er, superlative freest)

  1. (rather rare) free

Declension

Derived terms


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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