- unrestricted freedom or authority: They gave the decorator a free hand.
Origin of free hand
- unrestricted freedom to act (esp in the phrase give (someone) a free hand)
- (done) by hand without the use of guiding instrumentsa freehand drawing
Idioms and Phrases with 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.