Collins
World English Dictionary
free will
 
n
1.  a.  the apparent human ability to make choices that are not externally determined
 b.  Compare determinism the doctrine that such human freedom of choice is not illusory
 c.  (as modifier): a free-will decision
2.  the ability to make a choice without coercion: he left of his own free will: I did not influence him

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

free will definition


The ability to choose, think, and act voluntarily. For many philosophers, to believe in free will is to believe that human beings can be the authors of their own actions and to reject the idea that human actions are determined by external conditions or fate. (See determinism, fatalism, and predestination.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

free will

in humans, the power or capacity to choose among alternatives or to act in certain situations independently of natural, social, or divine restraints. Free will is denied by those who espouse any of various forms of determinism. Arguments for free will are based on the subjective experience of freedom, on sentiments of guilt, on revealed religion, and on the universal supposition of responsibility for personal actions that underlies the concepts of law, reward, punishment, and incentive. In theology, the existence of free will must be reconciled with God's omniscience and goodness (in allowing man to choose badly), and with divine grace, which allegedly is necessary for any meritorious act. A prominent feature of modern Existentialism is the concept of a radical, perpetual, and frequently agonizing freedom of choice. Jean-Paul Sartre, for example, speaks of the individual "condemned to be free" even though his situation may be wholly determined.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Westerners tend to believe in free will and personal choice.
Of his own free will, he turns from a full-throttle embrace of life to a
  joyless subsistence.
If you decide to stay with your life as it is now, it will be of your own free
  will to do so and not because you are trapped.
The free will and the free mind were nowhere to be found.
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