Free: Definition, Meaning, and Examples

Last Updated on
October 5, 2023

1. Free (adjective): Not under the control or in the power of another; able to act or be done as one wishes.
2. Free (adjective): Not physically restrained, obstructed, or fixed; unimpeded.
3. Free (adjective): Not subject to or constrained by engagements or obligations.
4. Free (adjective): Not subject to or affected by a specified thing, typically an undesirable one.
5. Free (adjective): Given or available without charge.
6. Free (verb): Make free; set at liberty.
7. Free (adverb): Without cost or payment.

The word "free" carries different meanings across various situations. It can mean having no cost, being able to act without control, or enjoying a state of liberty. Despite its simplicity, "free" holds a significant place in our lives, whether in buying goods, making choices, or expressing ourselves. Let's dive into the diverse meanings and uses of "free," shedding light on its role in our language and society.

"Free" Definition: What Does "Free" Mean?

It primarily denotes an unrestricted state in terms of control, physical restraint, obligations, or monetary cost. Its meanings spread across different aspects of life, encompassing our actions, our possessions, and our choices.

  • Free Will: The idea of making choices or decisions independently without being controlled by others or fate.
  • Free of Charge: Indicates that something is given or available without cost.
  • Free Time: Time free from obligations or work for leisure or other activities.

Parts of Speech

It can function as an adjective, verb, or adverb, depending on the context in which it’s used. As an adjective, it describes a state of being unrestricted or uncostly. As a verb, it refers to the action of liberating or releasing. As an adverb, it modifies verbs to indicate an absence of cost.

How to Pronounce "Free"?

It is pronounced as one syllable, sounding like "free" in "freedom."

Phonetic Pronunciation: friː

Synonyms of "Free": Other Ways to Say "Free"

The term "free" has various synonyms, each with slightly different connotations based on the context.

  • Liberty
  • Unrestricted
  • Unconstrained
  • Exempt
  • Gratis (for the no-cost meaning)

Antonyms of "Free": Other Ways to Say "Free"

Antonyms of "free" reflect a state of control, restraint, or cost.

  • Restricted
  • Constrained
  • Bound
  • Costly

Examples of "Free" in a Sentence

Using "free" in a sentence can revolve around concepts like liberty, cost, or absence of restraint.

Here are ten sentences that demonstrate its various contexts:

1. The girls finally felt free after finishing their exams.
2. The seminar is free of charge for all attendees.
3. He managed to free the bird trapped in the net.
4. The country fought hard to be free from colonial rule.
5. They offer free shipping on orders over $50.
6. In his free time, he enjoys reading and hiking.
7. To learn more about our free trial, get in touch with us through our hotline.
8. She is a free spirit, always ready for a new adventure.
9. Remember that with our free membership, "you snooze, you lose" on the amazing discounts.
10. Feel free to call around and compare prices before making a decision.

Frequency of Use

The word "free" is a common term in English, reflecting essential concepts of liberty and lack of cost. Its use is widespread across different contexts, from legal and political discourse to everyday conversations about time and money. Its prevalence makes it a crucial word to understand and use accurately.

Variants of "Free"

"Free" has extended its reach beyond its original meanings, adapting to modern usages and forming new expressions and phrases. The different grammatical forms of "free" include "freely" (adverb) and "freedom" (noun), each with distinct applications.

1. Freely: The adverbial form indicating the manner of being free or unimpeded in action or movement.
2. Freedom: The noun form represents being free from control or restraint.

Related Terms to "Free"

Several terms relate to "free," reflecting various states or actions associated with liberation, lack of restraint, or absence of cost. These terms often help in understanding the broader implications of "free."

1. Liberty
2. Independence
3. Autonomy
4. Unrestricted
5. Gratis
6. Complimentary
7. Unbound
8. Exempt

Etymology: History and Origins of "Free"

The word "free" traces back to Old English "freo," meaning "exempt from; not in bondage, acting of one's own will," which is akin to Old High German "fri," Old Norse "frī," and Gothic "freis." Its origins reflect a fundamental human desire for liberty and autonomy, a core aspect of its meaning today.

Derivatives and Compounds of "Free"

"Free" has spawned numerous derivatives and compounds that explore different facets of freedom or the absence of cost.

1. Freedom: A term denoting the state of being free, often used in political, social, or philosophical discourse.
2. Freebie: An item or service provided without charge.

Common Misspellings of "Free"

Correct spelling is crucial for clear communication, although misspellings occur. Here are some incorrect forms of "free":

1. Frea
2. Frei
3. Feree

10 Idioms Similar to "Free"

Various idioms reflect the essence of being "free" or the concept of freedom, even if they don't incorporate the word "free" itself.

1. Break loose
2. Cut loose
3. Footloose and fancy-free
4. Give someone a free hand
5. Have a free hand
6. Off the leash
7. On the loose
8. Out of someone's hands
9. Spread one's wings
10. Unfettered

10 Common Questions About "Free"

This flexible term "free" often prompts various questions, ranging from its meanings and usage to its implications in different contexts.

1. What does it mean to be "free"?

Being "free" often refers to a state of liberty, lack of restraint, or absence of cost.

2. How is "free" used in legal terms?

In legal contexts, "free" may refer to rights, freedoms, or the absence of obligations or debts.

3. What does "free" imply in social contexts?

"Free" in social contexts often relates to individual or collective liberties and rights.

4. How does "free" relate to economics?

In economics, "free" may refer to markets with little to no government intervention or the provision of goods and services without charge.

5. What's the difference between "free" and "freedom"?

"Free" is an adjective, verb, or adverb, while "freedom" is a noun denoting the state of being free.

6. How is "free" used in advertising?

"Free" is often used in advertising to denote a lack of cost or a bonus offer to attract customers.

7. Can "free" have negative connotations?

Yes, in some contexts, "free" might imply a lack of value or quality.

8. What does "free will" mean?

"Free will" refers to the ability to make choices independently, without coercion or predetermined fate.

9. How is "free" used in technology?

In technology, "free" can refer to software that is free to use, modify, and distribute, often called "free and open-source software."

10. What are some synonyms for "free"?

Some synonyms include "unrestricted," "unbound," "liberated," "independent," and "gratis" (for the no-cost meaning).


"Free" is a multi-dimensional term encompassing notions of liberty, lack of restraint, and absence of cost. Understanding its various meanings and uses enhances communication, whether discussing social rights, economic principles, or everyday transactions. Explore our extensive repository of word definitions to deepen your understanding of the language.

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