/free"deuhm/, n.1. the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedom after a retrial.2. exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.3. the power to determine action without restraint.4. political or national independence.5. personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who bought his freedom.6. exemption from the presence of anything specified (usually fol. by from): freedom from fear.7. the absence of or release from ties, obligations, etc.8. ease or facility of movement or action: to enjoy the freedom of living in the country.9. frankness of manner or speech.10. general exemption or immunity: freedom from taxation.11. the absence of ceremony or reserve.12. a liberty taken.13. a particular immunity or privilege enjoyed, as by a city or corporation: freedom to levy taxes.14. civil liberty, as opposed to subjection to an arbitrary or despotic government.15. the right to enjoy all the privileges or special rights of citizenship, membership, etc., in a community or the like.16. the right to frequent, enjoy, or use at will: to have the freedom of a friend's library.17. Philos. the power to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without; autonomy; self-determination. Cf. necessity (def. 7).[bef. 900; ME fredom, OE freodom. See FREE, -DOM]Syn. 1. FREEDOM, INDEPENDENCE, LIBERTY refer to an absence of undue restrictions and an opportunity to exercise one's rights and powers. FREEDOM emphasizes the opportunity given for the exercise of one's rights, powers, desires, or the like: freedom of speech or conscience; freedom of movement. INDEPENDENCE implies not only lack of restrictions but also the ability to stand alone, unsustained by anything else: Independence of thought promotes invention and discovery. LIBERTY, though most often interchanged with FREEDOM, is also used to imply undue exercise of freedom: He took liberties with the text. 9. openness, ingenuousness. 12. license. 16. run.
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