adjective, fre·er, fre·est.
verb (used with object), freed, free·ing.
- to release, as from restrictions: Congress voted to free up funds for the new highway system.
- to disentangle: It took an hour to free up the traffic jam.
Origin of free
Related Words for freestcomplimentary, independent, clear, loose, able, easy, unrestricted, open, unfettered, autonomous, separate, democratic, freed, available, unused, empty, eager, willing, big, paper
Examples from the Web for freest
Contemporary Examples of freest
Living in Moscow you can almost kid yourself you live in the freest, hippest, edgiest city on earth.Alexei Navalny Threatens Russia’s Corrupt Status Quo
July 19, 2013
Unions represent some of the freest institutions in this land.The Sins of St. Reagan
June 15, 2012
In the freest countries, people live about twenty years longer, on average, than people in the least free countries.The Road to Nowhere
May 24, 2012
Meanwhile, South Korea is both the thirty-seventh freest country in the world and the thirteenth richest.Is North Korea the Only Alternative?
May 23, 2012
“We are the freest, least-taxed country ever,” he continues.On the Trail With Ken Burns
September 26, 2009
Historical Examples of freest
This individualism has had the freest play, and we are not likely to lose all that it has given us.The Task of Social Hygiene
Poetry is like all art, difficult even in its freest interval.Adventures in the Arts
Love is always truest and sweetest and noblest where it is freest.Aims and Aids for Girls and Young Women
George Sumner Weaver
The real service to democracy is the fullest, freest expression of talent.A Preface to Politics
And it gives us the freest government anywhere in the galaxy.Lone Star Planet
Henry Beam Piper and John Joseph McGuire
adjective freer or freest
- having personal rights or liberty; not enslaved or confined
- (as noun)land of the free
- not subject to payment of rent or performance of services; freehold
- not subject to any burden or charge, such as a mortgage or lien; unencumbered
verb frees, freeing or freed (tr)
Word Origin for free
Old English freo "free, exempt from, not in bondage," also "noble; joyful," from Proto-Germanic *frijaz (cf. Old Frisian fri, Old Saxon and Old High German vri, German frei, Dutch vrij, Gothic freis "free"), from PIE *prijos "dear, beloved," from root *pri- "to love" (cf. Sanskrit priyah "own, dear, beloved," priyate "loves;" Old Church Slavonic prijati "to help," prijatelji "friend;" Welsh rhydd "free").
The primary sense seems to have been "beloved, friend, to love;" which in some languages (notably Germanic and Celtic) developed also a sense of "free," perhaps from the terms "beloved" or "friend" being applied to the free members of one's clan (as opposed to slaves, cf. Latin liberi, meaning both "free" and "children").
Cf. Gothic frijon "to love;" Old English freod "affection, friendship," friga "love," friðu "peace;" Old Norse friðr, German Friede "peace;" Old English freo "wife;" Old Norse Frigg "wife of Odin," literally "beloved" or "loving;" Middle Low German vrien "to take to wife, Dutch vrijen, German freien "to woo."
Of nations, "not subject to foreign rule or to despotism," it is recorded from late 14c. (Free world "non-communist nations" attested from 1950.) Sense of "given without cost" is 1580s, from notion of "free of cost." Free lunch, originally offered in bars to draw in business, by 1850, American English. Free pass on railways, etc., attested by 1850. Free speech in Britain used of a privilege in Parliament since the time of Henry VIII. In U.S., as a civil right, it became a prominent phrase in the debates over the Gag Rule (1836).
Free enterprise recorded from 1890; free trade is from 1823. Free will is from early 13c. Free association in psychology is from 1899. Free love "sexual liberation" attested from 1822. Free range (adj.) is attested by 1960. Free and easy "unrestrained" is from 1690s.
Old English freogan "to free, liberate, manumit," also "to love, think of lovingly, honor," from freo (see free (adj.)). Cf. Old Frisian fria "to make free;" Old Saxon friohan "to court, woo;" German befreien "to free," freien "to woo;" Old Norse frja "to love;" Gothic frijon "to love." Related: Freed; freeing.
In addition to the idioms beginning with free
- free agent
- free and clear
- free and easy
- free as a bird
- free enterprise
- free fall
- free hand
- free lunch
- free rein
- breathe easy (freely)
- feel free
- footloose and fancy-free
- for free
- get off (scot-free)
- home free
- make free with
- of one's own accord (free will)