set free


adjective, freer, freest.
enjoying personal rights or liberty, as a person who is not in slavery: a land of free people.
pertaining to or reserved for those who enjoy personal liberty: They were thankful to be living on free soil.
existing under, characterized by, or possessing civil and political liberties that are, as a rule, constitutionally guaranteed by representative government: the free nations of the world.
enjoying political autonomy, as a people or country not under foreign rule; independent.
exempt from external authority, interference, restriction, etc., as a person or one's will, thought, choice, action, etc.; independent; unrestricted.
able to do something at will; at liberty: free to choose.
clear of obstructions or obstacles, as a road or corridor: The highway is now free of fallen rock.
not occupied or in use: I'll try to phone her again if the line is free.
exempt or released from something specified that controls, restrains, burdens, etc. (usually followed by from or of ): free from worry; free of taxes.
having immunity or being safe (usually followed by from ): free from danger.
provided without, or not subject to, a charge or payment: free parking; a free sample.
given without consideration of a return or reward: a free offer of legal advice.
unimpeded, as motion or movement; easy, firm, or swift.
not held fast; loose; unattached: to get one's arm free.
not joined to or in contact with something else: The free end of the cantilever sagged.
acting without self-restraint or reserve: to be too free with one's tongue.
ready or generous in giving; liberal; lavish: to be free with one's advice.
given readily or in profusion; unstinted.
frank and open; unconstrained, unceremonious, or familiar.
unrestrained by decency; loose or licentious: free behavior.
not subject to special regulations, restrictions, duties, etc.: The ship was given free passage.
of, pertaining to, or characterized by free enterprise: a free economy.
that may be used by or is open to all: a free market.
engaged in by all present; general: a free fight.
not literal, as a translation, adaptation, or the like; loose.
uncombined chemically: free oxygen.
traveling without power; under no force except that of gravity or inertia: free flight.
Phonetics. (of a vowel) situated in an open syllable (opposed to checked ).
at liberty to enter and enjoy at will (usually followed by of ): to be free of a friend's house.
not subject to rules, set forms, etc.: The young students had an hour of free play between classes.
easily worked, as stone, land, etc.
Mathematics. (of a vector) having specified magnitude and direction but no specified initial point. Compare bound1 ( def 9 ).
Also, large. Nautical. (of a wind) nearly on the quarter, so that a sailing vessel may sail free.
not containing a specified substance (often used in combination): a sugar-free soft drink.
(of a linguistic form) occurring as an independent construction, without necessary combination with other forms, as most words. Compare bound1 ( def 11 ).
without cost, payment, or charge.
in a free manner; freely.
Nautical. away from the wind, so that a sailing vessel need not be close-hauled: running free.
verb (used with object), freed, freeing.
to make free; set at liberty; release from bondage, imprisonment, or restraint.
to exempt or deliver (usually followed by from ).
to relieve or rid (usually followed by of ): to free oneself of responsibility.
to disengage; clear (usually followed by from or of ).
Verb phrases
free up,
to release, as from restrictions: Congress voted to free up funds for the new highway system.
to disentangle: It took an hour to free up the traffic jam.
for free, Informal. without charge: The tailor mended my jacket for free.
free and clear, Law. without any encumbrance, as a lien or mortgage: They owned their house free and clear.
free and easy,
unrestrained; casual; informal.
excessively or inappropriately casual; presumptuous.
make free with,
to use as one's own; help oneself to: If you make free with their liquor, you won't be invited again.
to treat with too much familiarity; take liberties with.
set free, to release; liberate; free: The prisoners were set free.
with a free hand, generously; freely; openhandedly: He entertains visitors with a free hand.

before 900; Middle English fre, Old English frēo; cognate with Gothic freis, Old High German frī (German frei), Dutch vrij, Sanskrit priyá- dear. Cf. friend, Friday

freeness, noun
overfree, adjective
overfreely, adverb
quasi-free, adjective
quasi-freely, adverb
unfree, verb (used with object), unfreed, unfreeing, adjective
unfreely, adverb

39. See release. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To set free
World English Dictionary
free (friː)
adj (and foll by from) , freer, freest
1.  able to act at will; not under compulsion or restraint
2.  a.  having personal rights or liberty; not enslaved or confined
 b.  (as noun): land of the free
3.  not subject (to) or restricted (by some regulation, constraint, etc); exempt: a free market; free from pain
4.  (of a country, etc) autonomous or independent
5.  exempt from external direction or restriction; not forced or induced: free will
6.  not subject to conventional constraints: free verse
7.  (of jazz) totally improvised, with no preset melodic, harmonic, or rhythmic basis
8.  not exact or literal: a free translation
9.  costing nothing; provided without charge: free entertainment
10.  of property law
 a.  not subject to payment of rent or performance of services; freehold
 b.  not subject to any burden or charge, such as a mortgage or lien; unencumbered
11.  (postpositive; often foll by of or with) ready or generous in using or giving; liberal; lavish: free with advice
12.  unrestrained by propriety or good manners; licentious
13.  not occupied or in use; available: a free cubicle
14.  not occupied or busy; without previous engagements: I'm not free until Wednesday
15.  open or available to all; public
16.  without charge to the subscriber or user: freepost; freephone
17.  not fixed or joined; loose: the free end of a chain
18.  without obstruction or impediment: free passage
19.  chem chemically uncombined: free nitrogen
20.  phonetics denoting a vowel that can occur in an open syllable, such as the vowel in see as opposed to the vowel in cat
21.  grammar Compare bound denoting a morpheme that can occur as a separate word
22.  logic Compare bound denoting an occurrence of a variable not bound by a quantifier
23.  (of some materials, such as certain kinds of stone) easily worked
24.  nautical (of the wind) blowing from the quarter
25.  (usually imperative) feel free to regard oneself as having permission to perform a specified action
26.  not standard for free without charge or cost
27.  free and easy casual or tolerant; easy-going
28.  make free with to take liberties with; behave too familiarly towards
29.  in a free manner; freely
30.  without charge or cost
31.  nautical with the wind blowing from the quarter: a yacht sailing free
vb (often foll by of or from) , freer, freest, frees, freeing, freed
32.  (sometimes foll by up) to set at liberty; release
33.  to remove obstructions, attachments, or impediments from; disengage
34.  to relieve or rid (of obstacles, pain, etc)
35.  informal a freesheet
[Old English frēo; related to Old Saxon, Old High German frī, Gothic freis free, Sanskrit priya dear]

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

O.E. freo "free, exempt from, not in bondage," also "noble, joyful," from P.Gmc. *frijaz (cf. M.H.G. vri, Ger. frei, Du. vrij, Goth. freis "free"), from PIE *prijos "dear, beloved" (cf. Skt. priyah "own, dear, beloved," priyate "loves;" O.C.S. prijati "to help," prijatelji "friend;" Welsh rhydd "free").
The adverb is from O.E. freon, freogan "to free, love." The primary sense seems to have been "beloved, friend, to love;" which in some languages (notably Gmc. and Celtic) developed also a sense of "free," perhaps from the terms "beloved" or "friend" being applied to the free members of one's clan (as opposed to slaves, cf. L. liberi, meaning both "free" and "children"). Cf. Goth. frijon "to love;" O.E. freod "affection, friendship," friga "love," friðu "peace;" O.N. friðr, Ger. Friede "peace;" O.E. freo "wife;" O.N. Frigg "wife of Odin," lit. "beloved" or "loving;" M.L.G. vrien "to take to wife, Du. vrijen, Ger. freien "to woo." Sense of "given without cost" is 1580s, from notion of "free of cost." Of nations, "not subject to foreign rule or to despotism," it is recorded from late 14c. Related: Freed; freeing. Free-hand is from 1862; free-thinker is from 1690s. Free-for-all "mass brawl" (in which anyone may participate) first recorded 1881. Freebase (n. and v.) in ref. to cocaine first recorded 1980. Free enterprise recorded from 1890; free trade is from 1823. Free will is from early 13c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature