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free hand

noun
1.
unrestricted freedom or authority:
They gave the decorator a free hand.
Origin of free hand
1925-1930
1925-30
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for free hand
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Suddenly, he waved his free hand in the direction of the waiting-room.

    Little Novels Wilkie Collins
  • "You have a free hand, Culbertson," the very high official had said to him.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • Now began the process of weeding out the jury, which, when it came his turn, Rumpety performed with a free hand.

    Peak and Prairie Anna Fuller
  • They would pay $2,400 a year for the work, and allow him a free hand.

  • She had a laminated press-pass out in her free hand and was holding it up beside her head like a talisman.

    Makers Cory Doctorow
British Dictionary definitions for free hand

free hand

noun
1.
unrestricted freedom to act (esp in the phrase give (someone) a free hand)
adjective, adverb freehand
2.
(done) by hand without the use of guiding instruments: a freehand drawing
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
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Idioms and Phrases with free hand

free hand

Also, free rein. Freedom to do or decide as one sees fit. For example, The teacher gave her assistant a free hand with the class, or They gave me free rein to reorganize the department. The first expression dates from the late 1800s, the second from the mid-1900s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Word Value for free

7
7
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