- one of a class of skilled stoneworkers of the Middle Ages, possessing secret signs and passwords.
- a member of a society composed of such workers, which also included honorary members (accepted masons) not connected with the building trades.
Origin of Freemason
Examples from the Web for freemasons
Conspiracy theories would make their initial mark with such targets as the Freemasons, inspiring an early third party.A Brief History of Wingnuts in America; From George Washington to Woodstock|John Avlon|August 17, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The disturbed congressional stenographer who went on a bizarre rant about Freemasons before being removed from the House chamber.
Instead, it ended with a stenographer screaming about the freemasons.
A House staff member started yelling about the Freemasons in the midst of a crucial vote in Congress, Ben Jacobs reports.Stenographer Starts Shouting During Debt Limit Vote|Ben Jacobs|October 17, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Do you know Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the founder and symbol of English education in India was a freemasons.
It has been universally received, and almost universally credited, among Freemasons from the earliest times.The Symbolism of Freemasonry|Albert G. Mackey
They were characterized by less mystery and more pleasantry than the Freemasons.The Slang Dictionary|John Camden Hotten
This hesitation was caused by the convocation of all the freemasons for bringing about a reconciliation between the two parties.The Insurrection in Paris|An Englishman: Davy
"That's the first time I hear that about the Freemasons," Morris observed.Potash and Perlmutter Settle Things|Montague Glass
We have read various books by Freemasons about Freemasonry, about its history, its constitution, its ritual.Studies of Travel: Italy|Edward A. Freeman
late 14c., originally a traveling guild of masons with a secret code; in the early 17c. they began accepting honorary members and teaching them the secrets and lore, which by 1717 had developed into the fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons.
The exact origin of the free- is a subject of dispute. Some [e.g. Klein] see a corruption of French frère "brother," from frèremaçon "brother mason;" others say it was because the masons worked on "free-standing" stones; still others see them as "free" from the control of local guilds or lords [OED].