[ free-liv-ing ]
See synonyms for free-living on
  1. following a way of life in which one freely indulges the appetites, desires, etc.

  2. Biology. noting an organism that is neither parasitic, symbiotic, nor sessile.

Origin of free-living

First recorded in 1810–20

Words Nearby free-living Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use free-living in a sentence

  • We see, then, that the origin of all these free-living cells can be traced back to the very earliest of the Metazoa.

    The Origin of Vertebrates | Walter Holbrook Gaskell

British Dictionary definitions for free-living


  1. given to ready indulgence of the appetites

  2. (of animals and plants) not parasitic; existing independently

Derived forms of free-living

  • free-liver, noun

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