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free lance

noun
1.
a mercenary soldier or military adventurer of the Middle Ages, often of knightly rank, who offered his services to any state, party, or cause.
2.
freelance (defs 1, 2).

freelance

or free-lance

[free-lans, -lahns, -lans, -lahns] /ˈfriˌlæns, -ˌlɑns, -ˈlæns, -ˈlɑns/
noun, Also, free lance
1.
Also, freelancer. a person who works as a writer, designer, performer, or the like, selling work or services by the hour, day, job, etc., rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer.
2.
a person who contends in a cause or in a succession of various causes, as he or she chooses, without personal attachment or allegiance.
verb (used without object), freelanced, freelancing.
3.
to act or work as a freelance:
The illustrator used to be employed by us but is freelancing now.
verb (used with object), freelanced, freelancing.
4.
to produce, sell, or accomplish as a freelance:
to freelance a magazine article.
adjective
5.
of or relating to a freelance or the work of a freelance:
a freelance writer; freelance copyediting.
adverb
6.
in the manner of a freelance:
She works freelance.
Origin of freelance
free + lance1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for free lance
Historical Examples
  • And yet the Christian is not an antinomian; he is not a sort of free lance, sworn to no obedience.

  • He was a free lance and no other career stood in sight or mind.

  • He became a free lance and while sometimes he ran amuck his cause was always the cause of his people.

    The War After the War Isaac Frederick Marcosson
  • The besetting temptation of the free lance is to pamper himself.

    If You Don't Write Fiction Charles Phelps Cushing
  • Gwen was not taking a part, so she was rather a free lance in that respect, and her advice was likely to be disinterested.

  • A free lance, with only her love for her child to hallow and redeem her.

    The Little Lady of Lagunitas Richard Henry Savage
  • This Mr. Courtier was a free lance—rather a well-known man, an interesting creature.

    The Patrician John Galsworthy
  • There is no place in congressional jousts for the free lance.

    Congressional Government Woodrow Wilson
  • "Just let me run this thing over," said the free lance slowly.

    The Mystery Stewart Edward White and Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • I'm what they call a free lance, for I have no regular desk on any of the journals.

    The Mystery Stewart Edward White and Samuel Hopkins Adams
British Dictionary definitions for free lance

freelance

/ˈfriːˌlɑːns/
noun
1.
  1. Also called freelancer. a self-employed person, esp a writer or artist, who is not employed continuously but hired to do specific assignments
  2. (as modifier): a freelance journalist
2.
a person, esp a politician, who supports several causes or parties without total commitment to any one
3.
(in medieval Europe) a mercenary soldier or adventurer
verb
4.
to work as a freelance on (an assignment, etc)
adverb
5.
as a freelance
Word Origin
C19 (in sense 3): later applied to politicians, writers, etc
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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Word Origin and History for free lance

freelance

n.

also free lance, free-lance, "medieval mercenary warrior," 1820 ("Ivanhoe"), from free (adj.) + lance (n.); apparently a coinage of Sir Walter Scott's. Figurative sense is from 1864; specifically of journalism by 1882.

v.

1902, from freelance (n.). Related: Freelancer (1898); freelanced; freelancing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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7
7
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