- the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedom after a retrial.
- exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
- the power to determine action without restraint.
- political or national independence.
- personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who bought his freedom.
- exemption from the presence of anything specified (usually followed by from): freedom from fear.
- the absence of or release from ties, obligations, etc.
- ease or facility of movement or action: to enjoy the freedom of living in the country.
- frankness of manner or speech.
- general exemption or immunity: freedom from taxation.
- the absence of ceremony or reserve.
- a liberty taken.
- a particular immunity or privilege enjoyed, as by a city or corporation: freedom to levy taxes.
- civil liberty, as opposed to subjection to an arbitrary or despotic government.
- the right to enjoy all the privileges or special rights of citizenship, membership, etc., in a community or the like.
- the right to frequent, enjoy, or use at will: to have the freedom of a friend's library.
- Philosophy. the power to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without; autonomy; self-determination.Compare necessity(def 7).
Origin of freedom
Synonyms for freedom
Examples from the Web for unfreedom
Contemporary Examples of unfreedom
A freedom based upon the unfreedom of others - this was Roman freedom, and this was early American freedom too.Who Was the Real Cato?
December 20, 2012
African slaves occupied the very lowest rank in a vast system of unfreedom and dependency.David's Book Club: The Radicalism of the American Revolution & The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin
February 27, 2012
Historical Examples of unfreedom
- personal liberty, as from slavery, bondage, serfdom, etc
- liberation or deliverance, as from confinement or bondage
- the quality or state of being free, esp to enjoy political and civil liberties
- (usually foll by from) the state of being without something unpleasant or bad; exemption or immunityfreedom from taxation
- the right or privilege of unrestricted use or accessthe freedom of a city
- autonomy, self-government, or independence
- the power or liberty to order one's own actions
- philosophy the quality, esp of the will or the individual, of not being totally constrained; able to choose between alternative actions in identical circumstances
- ease or frankness of manner; candourshe talked with complete freedom
- excessive familiarity of manner; boldness
- ease and grace, as of movement; lack of effort
Word Origin for freedom
Old English freodom "freedom, state of free will; charter, emancipation, deliverance;" see free (adj.) + -dom. Freedom-rider recorded 1961, in reference to civil rights activists in U.S. trying to integrate bus lines.
It has been said by some physicians, that life is a forced state. The same may be said of freedom. It requires efforts, it presupposes mental and moral qualities of a high order to be generally diffused in the society where it exists. [John C. Calhoun, speech, U.S. House of Representatives, Jan. 31, 1816]
Freedom Rider Situation Cuts Into Montgomery Juke, Game Revenues [headline, "Billboard," July 24, 1961]
Freedom fighter attested by 1903 (originally with reference to Cuba).