Nearby words

  1. frederiksberg,
  2. fredet-ramstedt operation,
  3. fredonia,
  4. fredric,
  5. fredrikstad,
  6. free agent,
  7. free air,
  8. free alongside ship,
  9. free and accepted masons,
  10. free and clear


Origin of free

before 900; Middle English fre, Old English frēo; cognate with Gothic freis, Old High German frī (German frei), Dutch vrij, Sanskrit priyá- dear. Cf. friend, Friday

Related forms

Synonym study

39. See release. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for free and easy
Derived Formsfreer, nounfreely, adverbfreeness, noun

Word Origin for free

Old English frēo; related to Old Saxon, Old High German frī, Gothic freis free, Sanskrit priya dear

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for free and easy
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with free and easy

free and easy


Casual, relaxed, as in His style of writing is free and easy. In the 1930s and 1940s this phrase gained currency as part of a slogan for a brand of cigarettes, which were said to be “free and easy” to inhale. [c. 1700]


Careless, sloppy, morally lax, as in This administration was free and easy with the taxpayers' money, or These girls hate to be considered free and easy. [First half of 1900s]


In addition to the idioms beginning with free

  • free agent
  • free and clear
  • free and easy
  • free as a bird
  • free enterprise
  • free fall
  • free hand
  • free lunch
  • free rein

also see:

  • breathe easy (freely)
  • feel free
  • footloose and fancy-free
  • for free
  • get off (scot-free)
  • home free
  • make free with
  • of one's own accord (free will)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.