1. competition in which any of the standard strokes may be used, according to the swimmer's choice.
  2. the crawl.
Wrestling. catch-as-catch-can.
(in other sports) a performance or routine featuring relatively free, unrestricted movement or intended to demonstrate an individual's special skills or style, as in figure skating, gymnastics, or surfing.

Nearby words

  1. freesia,
  2. freest,
  3. freestanding,
  4. freestone,
  5. freestone state,
  6. freestyling,
  7. freetail,
  8. freethinker,
  9. freethinkers,
  10. freetown

Origin of freestyle

First recorded in 1930–35; free + style

Related formsfree·styl·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for freestyle

British Dictionary definitions for freestyle



a competition or race, as in swimming, in which each participant may use a style of his or her choice instead of a specified style
  1. an amateur style of wrestling with an agreed set of rules
  2. Also called: all-in wrestlinga style of professional wrestling with no internationally agreed set of rules
a series of acrobatics performed in skiing, etc
(as modifier)a freestyle event
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

Word Origin and History for freestyle



1912, in swimming, in reference to a distance race in which the swimmers may use whatever stroke they choose; 1950 in general use, from free + style. As an adjective, from 1957; as a verb, by 1970 (in martial arts).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper