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free will

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noun
  1. free and independent choice; voluntary decision: You took on the responsibility of your own free will.
  2. Philosophy. the doctrine that the conduct of human beings expresses personal choice and is not simply determined by physical or divine forces.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for free will

Historical Examples

  • What is the use of the theoretical belief in free-will in this case?

    The Sexual Question

    August Forel

  • There is a similar confusion about necessity and free-will, and about the state of the soul after death.

    Timaeus

    Plato

  • Apart from sins and virtues she perceives two things—caprice and free-will.

    The Prodigal Returns

    Lilian Staveley

  • The human doctrine of free-will, and of our own ability, is futile.

  • I have, of my own free-will, cast in my lot with your people.

    At Aboukir and Acre

    George Alfred Henty


British Dictionary definitions for free will

free will

noun
    1. the apparent human ability to make choices that are not externally determined
    2. the doctrine that such human freedom of choice is not illusoryCompare determinism (def. 1)
    3. (as modifier)a free-will decision
  1. the ability to make a choice without coercionhe left of his own free will: I did not influence him
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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

free will in Culture

free will

The ability to choose, think, and act voluntarily. For many philosophers, to believe in free will is to believe that human beings can be the authors of their own actions and to reject the idea that human actions are determined by external conditions or fate. (See determinism, fatalism, and predestination.)

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.