- 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
Contemporary Examples of 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
August 17, 2014
The disturbed congressional stenographer who went on a bizarre rant about Freemasons before being removed from the House chamber.Is Chris Christie from Jersey or Jupiter?
January 19, 2014
Instead, it ended with a stenographer screaming about the freemasons.Inside the GOP Surrender
October 17, 2013
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
October 17, 2013
Do you know Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the founder and symbol of English education in India was a freemasons.The Taliban’s Letter to Malala Yousafzai
The Daily Beast
July 17, 2013
Historical Examples of freemasons
Bazdeev had been one of the best-known Freemasons and Martinists, even in Novikov's time.War and Peace
What you were told at Chauny about the freemasons in the department was quite true.France and the Republic
William Henry Hurlbert
The Freemasons evidently adapted their nomenclature to the dialect of the part they were in.The Cathedral Builders
The secret, it was lost, but surely it was found (Freemasons Song).The Round Towers of Ireland
They were characterized by less mystery and more pleasantry than the Freemasons.The Slang Dictionary
John Camden Hotten
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].