Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

free - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [transitive] free pronunciation in American English /fri/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlefreeing
past tensefreed
past participlefreed
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    to let someone leave a prison or a place where they have been forced to stay
  2. 2
    to help someone to get out of a place
    free someone/something from something:

    They helped free the injured driver from the wreckage.

  3. 3
    to remove something unpleasant that affects someone or limits their behavior
    free someone/something from something:

    Morphine was given to free her from pain.

    free someone/something of something:

    He has been freed of direct responsibility for his staff.

  4. 4



    free up

    to make someone or something available to be used for something else
    free someone/something for something:

    We need to free more police officers for street duties.

    free someone/something to do something:

    A classroom assistant frees teachers to concentrate on teaching.

phrasal verbs



to fall over forwards so that your face hits the ground or another surface

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


the activity of exploring abandoned buildings and other manmade structures

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play