freelance

[free-lans, -lahns, -lans, -lahns]
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 pertaining 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.
Also, free-lance.


Origin:
free + lance1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
freelance (ˈfriːˌlɑːns)
 
n
1.  a.  Also called: freelancer a self-employed person, esp a writer or artist, who is not employed continuously but hired to do specific assignments
 b.  (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
 
vb
4.  to work as a freelance on (an assignment, etc)
 
adv
5.  as a freelance
 
[C19 (in sense 3): later applied to politicians, writers, etc]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

freelance
also free lance, free-lance, "medieval mercenary warrior," 1820, from free + lance; apparently a coinage of Sir Walter Scott's. Figurative sense is from 1864; specifically of journalism by 1882. Related: Freelancer. The verb is first attested 1903.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
She began a freelance writing, editing, and training business earlier this year.
She had to decide between the comfort of a staff news job and the unknown of
  freelance photography.
Freelance writers are typically paid by the article, not by the hour, so idle
  web-surfing does nothing but lower my paycheck.
Second, it must be shown that freelance testing by would-be nuclear powers does
  not pay off.
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