1 /fri:/ adjective ALLOWED TO DO WHAT YOU WANT
1 allowed to do whatever you want, without being controlled or restricted : free to do sth: The children are free to decide which activity they would like to do.
2 feel free spoken used to tell someone that they can do something: Feel free to ask questions. | “Can I make myself some tea?” “Feel free.”
3 without restrictions or controls: We had a free and open discussion about religion. | a free exchange of information | free access/passage/movement etc: free movement of people and goods between the towns | free speech (=being able to say whatever you want)
4 free election/society/press an election etc that is not controlled by the government so that people can vote, live etc how they want to
5 give sb a free hand/rein to let someone do whatever they want or need to do in a particular situation: She gave the producer a free rein with the script.
6 free and easy relaxed, friendly, and without many rules: a free and easy discussion
7 a free spirit someone who lives as they want to rather than in the way that society considers normal
8 free agent someone who can do what they want to, and who is not controlled by anyone else: You're a free agent - you don't owe them anything.
9 costing nothing: We were given a free lunch with lots of wine. | The soft drinks are free, but you have to pay for the beer. | a free gift (=something you are given by a shop or company)
10 a free ride something that you do not have to pay for, because someone else is paying for it: Government employees are getting a free ride on taxpayers' money.
11 not a prisoner: The rapist could be free in as little as three years. | set sb free (=give someone their freedom): Mandela was finally set free in 1993. | a free man (=a man who was a prisoner)
12 if you are free, or have some free time, you have no work, and nothing else that you must do: Are you free next weekend? | a free day/morning/half-hour etc: If you have a free afternoon, go and see this movie. | free time: I don't have enough free time during the week.
13 something that you want to use is free if no one else is using it: There's a washing machine free, but you may have to wait for a dryer.
14 tax-free/duty-free etc without tax etc: duty-free wine
15 lead-free/salt-free etc not containing lead, salt etc: lead-free petrol
16 free from/of sth without something that you do not want to have: free of obligations | free from disease
17 free of sth/sb away from something or someone you are glad to be without: I'm free of that place at last.
18 an action or movement that is free is graceful and not restricted: a free swing of the arm
19 loose and not fixed to anything: The free end of the flag has been torn by the wind.
20 free hand/arm/leg etc the arm, leg etc that you are not already using: With her free hand, she clung to the rope.
21 technical not combined with any other simple chemical substance; pure: free oxygen
22 old-fashioned too friendly, in a way that does not show enough respect: Your son's manner is rather free.
23 be free with to be generous with something: Mr. Leath is free with his money. | free with criticism
24 make free with to use something that belongs to someone else when you should not: I wonder if he knows that Jenny is making free with his money?
25 a translation that is free gives a general idea of a piece of writing rather than exactly translating every word
2 verb (T)
1 to allow someone to leave prison or somewhere they have been kept by force; release 1 (1): Lincoln freed the slaves. | persuading the terrorists to free the hostages
2 to move or loosen something or someone that is fixed or trapped: After three hours the firemen freed her from the wreckage.
3 also free up to make something available so that it can be used: This would free resources that are badly needed.
4 to help someone by removing something unpleasant
(+ from): They aim to free the country from its enormous debts.
5 to make someone no longer be restricted by unfair rules, a cruel government etc
(+ from): marching to free the capital city from the rebels
6 to help someone to do something, by removing restrictions or making them responsible for fewer things : free sb to do sth: freeing teachers to concentrate on particular subjects | free sth: Writing frees the imagination.
3 adverb
1 without payment: This card allows you to travel free for a month. | for free: They let me have these chillies for free. | free of charge: You may park here free of charge after 6 p.m.
2 not fixed or held in a particular place or position: The window had swung free in the wind. | pull/struggle free (=move to get away from somewhere): Ken grabbed her around the waist, but she managed to struggle free.
3 break free to escape from a place or a situation: At last he's broken free and started a new life in New York.
4 run free if an animal runs free it is allowed to go where it wants to, without being controlled: a zoo where the animals can run free
5 walk free if a criminal walks free, they are not put in prison
6 I'll tell you that for free spoken used to emphasize what you are saying, in an angry way: I'm not going to offer to help you out again, I'll tell you that for free!
—compare freely, —see also: scot­free

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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