an electron that is not attached to an atom or molecule and is free to respond to outside forces.
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Origin of free electron
First recorded in 1905–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for free electron
any electron that is not attached to an ion, atom, or molecule and is free to move under the influence of an applied electric or magnetic field
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