[ free-hand ]

  1. drawn or executed by hand without guiding instruments, measurements, or other aids: a freehand map.

  1. in a freehand manner: to draw freehand.

Origin of freehand

First recorded in 1860–65; free + hand

Words Nearby freehand

Other definitions for free hand (2 of 2)

free hand

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

Origin of free hand

First recorded in 1925–30 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use freehand in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for free hand

free hand

  1. unrestricted freedom to act (esp in the phrase give (someone) a free hand)

adjective, adverbfreehand
  1. (done) by hand without the use of guiding instruments: a freehand drawing

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with freehand


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.

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