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English definition of “free”

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free

adjective, adverb uk   /friː/ us  

free adjective, adverb (NOT LIMITED)

B2 not limited or controlled: [+ to infinitive] Am I free (= do I have permission) to leave now? I'll give you a key then you're free to come and go as you please. Please feel free to interrupt me if you don't understand anything. The agreement gives companies free access to the markets of member countries. A great deal has been achieved, most notably free elections (= elections in which people can vote as they wish).free and easy relaxed and informal: The atmosphere in the office is fairly free and easy.
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free adjective, adverb (NO CHARGE)

A2 costing nothing, or not needing to be paid for: I got some free cinema tickets. Members all receive a free copy of the monthly newsletter. The elderly travel free on public transport. We will install your washing machine free of charge/for free (= without charge).
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free adjective, adverb (NOT IN PRISON)

B2 not a prisoner any longer, or having unlimited movement: She left the court a free woman after the case against her collapsed because of a legal technicality. The new government has decided to set all political prisoners free. She went/walked free after the charges against her were dropped. I let the dogs run free in the park.
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free adjective, adverb (LOOSE)

not in a fixed position or not joined to anything: Both bookcases stand free of the wall. The bolts have worked themselves free because of the vibrations. Rescuers took several hours to cut the survivors free from the wreckage.

free

adjective uk   /friː/ us  

free adjective (NOT BUSY)

A2 not doing anything planned or important, or available to be used: I do a lot of reading in my free time. She's in a meeting at the moment, but she should be free to see you in ten minutes. I'm working in the café all this week, but I've got a free evening next Monday. Excuse me, is this seat free (= is anyone intending to sit in this seat)? We queued for half an hour waiting for a free space in the car park. If you take these bags that will give me a free hand to open the door.
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free adjective (WITHOUT)

C1 [after verb] not having something that is unwanted or unpleasant: Because the organization is a charitable enterprise it is free from tax worldwide. She'll never be completely free of the disease. Ensure the wound is free from/of dirt before applying the bandage.

free adjective (GIVING/USING OFTEN)

free with giving or using often or in large amounts: He's rather free with his wife's money. She's very free with advice but she never seems to act on it herself. He's very free with his criticism!make free with disapproving to use something that belongs to someone else a lot: Don't her parents mind her making free with their house while they're on holiday?

free adjective (CHEMICAL)

specialized chemistry If an element is free, it is not combined with anything else or attached to anything else: free oxygen/nitrogen

free

verb uk   /friː/ us  

free verb (NOT IN PRISON)

B2 [T] to allow someone to leave a prison or place where they have been kept: After a ten-hour siege the gunman agreed to free the hostages. Anti-vivisectionists last night freed a number of animals from a laboratory.
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free verb (MAKE LOOSE)

[T] to move or make loose someone or something that is caught or held somewhere: Both men were freed from the wreckage after a four-hour operation. In vain he tried to free the rope around his hands.

free verb (REMOVE LIMITS)

[T + obj + to infinitive ] to remove the limits or controls on someone or something: Her retirement from politics will free her (= provide her with enough time) to write her memoirs.

free verb (MAKE AVAILABLE)

[T] to make something available for someone to use: They planned to extend the car park, freeing existing parking spaces for visitors. Can you cancel my meetings - I need to free (up) the afternoon to write this report.
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of free adjective, adverb, adjective, verb from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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