|1.||unrestricted freedom to act (esp in the phrase give (someone) a free hand)|
|—adj, —adv , freehand|
|2.||(done) by hand without the use of guiding instruments: a freehand drawing|
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.