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.

Thesaurus diagram

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.

adjective     free pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    something that is free does not cost anything

    All talks start at 2.30 pm and admission is free.

    There is plenty of free parking.

    free to/for:

    The swimming pool is free to hotel guests.

    free gift:

    You can claim your free gift with your first order.

  2. 2
    not a prisoner or a slave

    He will soon be a free man again.

    set someone/something free:

    He opened the cage and set the eagle free.

  3. 3
    not held, tied, or fixed to somewhere

    Hand me the free end of the rope.

    With his free hand he carefully unfastened his belt.

    get free:

    Sally struggled to get free from the branches.

  4. 4
    not limited or controlled by rules

    People should have a free choice of lawyers.

    free to do something:

    You are free to come and go as you please.

    1. a.
      allowed to decide for yourself what you do, say, or think, especially without being controlled by someone in authority

      a free people

      a free country/society:

      We like to believe we live in a free society.

      a free election:

      the first free elections in Germany since 1946

  5. 5
    not containing or involving something unpleasant
    free from/of:

    We want to give all children a world free from violence.

    It was a relaxing atmosphere, free of tension.

    Within minutes, she was absolutely free of pain.

  6. 6
    available to see someone, do something, or go somewhere

    I’m busy at the moment, but I’ll be free this afternoon.

    free for:

    Are you free for lunch?

    1. a.
      available for someone to use

      Is this seat free?

      There are no free fitting rooms at the moment.

  7. 7
    free time is time when you do not have any work to do, so that you can do whatever you want

    Do you have any free time this weekend?

    I’ll keep a day free next week for our meeting.

  8. 8
    if you are free with your opinions or comments, you say so much that it annoys other people
    1. a.
      if you are free with something, especially money, you spend or give a lot of it

      He’s never been particularly free with his cash.

  9. 9
    science not combined with another substance, or not attached to anything else

    free oxygen

  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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