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free hand

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noun
  1. unrestricted freedom or authority: They gave the decorator a free hand.
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Origin of free hand

First recorded in 1925–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for free hand

freedom, independence, latitude, leeway, liberty

British Dictionary definitions for free hand

free hand

noun
  1. unrestricted freedom to act (esp in the phrase give (someone) a free hand)
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adjective, adverb freehand
  1. (done) by hand without the use of guiding instrumentsa freehand drawing
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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

Idioms and Phrases with free hand

free hand

Also, free rein. Freedom to do or decide as one sees fit. For example, The teacher gave her assistant a free hand with the class, or They gave me free rein to reorganize the department. The first expression dates from the late 1800s, the second from the mid-1900s.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.