- the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedom after a retrial.
- exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
- the power to determine action without restraint.
- political or national independence.
- personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who bought his freedom.
- exemption from the presence of anything specified (usually followed by from): freedom from fear.
- the absence of or release from ties, obligations, etc.
- ease or facility of movement or action: to enjoy the freedom of living in the country.
- frankness of manner or speech.
- general exemption or immunity: freedom from taxation.
- the absence of ceremony or reserve.
- a liberty taken.
- a particular immunity or privilege enjoyed, as by a city or corporation: freedom to levy taxes.
- civil liberty, as opposed to subjection to an arbitrary or despotic government.
- the right to enjoy all the privileges or special rights of citizenship, membership, etc., in a community or the like.
- the right to frequent, enjoy, or use at will: to have the freedom of a friend's library.
- Philosophy. the power to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without; autonomy; self-determination.Compare necessity(def 7).
Origin of freedom
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for freedom
It was also an attack on our freedom of expression and way of life.
The more we appease, the more we indulge, the more emboldened the enemies of freedom become.Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Our Duty Is to Keep Charlie Hebdo Alive
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
January 8, 2015
Freedom of speech, then, is sometimes not worth the trouble that comes with it.
It was something ineffable and harder to define: freedom of speech.
Police, their representatives and supporters tell us, ensure our freedom of speech through our ability to protest.
The spirit and the gifts of freedom ill assort with the condition of a slave.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
It seems to me that life is no life, but living death, without that freedom!The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
The cause of freedom owes her much; the country owes her much.Harriet, The Moses of Her People
Sarah H. Bradford
Under the eternal urge of freedom we became an independent Nation.
Because we are free we can never be indifferent to the fate of freedom elsewhere.
- personal liberty, as from slavery, bondage, serfdom, etc
- liberation or deliverance, as from confinement or bondage
- the quality or state of being free, esp to enjoy political and civil liberties
- (usually foll by from) the state of being without something unpleasant or bad; exemption or immunityfreedom from taxation
- the right or privilege of unrestricted use or accessthe freedom of a city
- autonomy, self-government, or independence
- the power or liberty to order one's own actions
- philosophy the quality, esp of the will or the individual, of not being totally constrained; able to choose between alternative actions in identical circumstances
- ease or frankness of manner; candourshe talked with complete freedom
- excessive familiarity of manner; boldness
- ease and grace, as of movement; lack of effort
Word Origin and History for freedom
Old English freodom "freedom, state of free will; charter, emancipation, deliverance;" see free (adj.) + -dom. Freedom-rider recorded 1961, in reference to civil rights activists in U.S. trying to integrate bus lines.
It has been said by some physicians, that life is a forced state. The same may be said of freedom. It requires efforts, it presupposes mental and moral qualities of a high order to be generally diffused in the society where it exists. [John C. Calhoun, speech, U.S. House of Representatives, Jan. 31, 1816]
Freedom Rider Situation Cuts Into Montgomery Juke, Game Revenues [headline, "Billboard," July 24, 1961]
Freedom fighter attested by 1903 (originally with reference to Cuba).