If something is free, you can have it or use it without paying for it. ⇒ The seminars are free, with lunch provided. ⇒ ...a free brochure with details of gift vouchers.
3. graded adjective & adjective [oft ADJ to-inf] Someone or something that is free is not restricted, controlled, or limited, for example by rules, customs, or other people. ⇒ The government will be free to pursue its economic policies. ⇒ The elections were free and fair. ⇒ Economists argued that freer markets would quickly revive the region's economy. ⇒ He fears that until state subsidies are removed, Russia will never have a truly free press. ⇒ Dogs were allowed to roam free and 48 sheep were killed. freely
graded adverb & adverb [ADV with v] ⇒ They cast their votes freely and without coercion on election day. ⇒ Merchandise can now circulate freely among the E.U. countries. 4. verb If you free someone of something that is unpleasant or restricting, you remove it from them. [V n of/from n] ⇒ It will free us of a whole lot of debt. [V n + of/from] ⇒ The 30-year-old star is trying to free himself from his recording contract. 5. adjective [ADJ n, v-link ADJ, ADJ after v] Someone who is free is no longer a prisoner or a slave. ⇒ He walked from the court house a free man. ⇒ More than ninety prisoners have been set free so far under a government amnesty. 6. verb To free a prisoner or a slave means to let them go or release them from prison. [V n] ⇒ Israel is set to free more Lebanese prisoners. [V-ed] ⇒ The act had a specific intent, to protect freed slaves from white mobs. 7. adjective
If someone or something is free of or free from an unpleasant thing, they do not have it or they are not affected by it. [+ of/from] ⇒ ...a future far more free of fear. ⇒ She retains her slim figure and is free of wrinkles. ⇒ The filtration system provides the crew with clean air free from fumes.
8. adjective A sum of money or type of goods that is free of tax or duty is one that you do not have to pay tax on. 10. verb To free someone or something means to make them available for a task or function that they were previously not available for. [V n] ⇒ Toolbelts free both hands and lessen the risk of dropping hammers. [V n to-inf] ⇒ His deal with Disney will run out shortly, freeing him to pursue his own project. [V n + from/of/for] ⇒ There were more civilians working for the police, freeing officers from desk jobs. Free up means the same as free. [V P n] ⇒ It can handle even the most complex graphic jobs, freeing up your computer for other tasks. [Also V n P] 11. adjective If you have a free period of time or are free at a particular time, you are not working or occupied then. ⇒ She spent her free time shopping. ⇒ I used to write during my free periods at school. ⇒ I am always free at lunchtime. 12. adjective If something such as a table or seat is free, it is not being used or occupied by anyone, or is not reserved for anyone to use. ⇒ There was only one seat free on the train. ⇒ They took the only free table, which was just inside the door. 13. adjective [v-link ADJ] If you get something free or if it gets free, it is no longer trapped by anything or attached to anything. ⇒ The severe conditions hampered attempts to pull the vessel free of the rig. ⇒ He pulled his arm free, and strode for the door. ⇒ The shark was writhing around wildly, trying to get free. 14. verb
If you free someone or something, you remove them from the place in which they have been trapped or become fixed. [V n] ⇒ It took firemen two hours to cut through the drive belt to free him. [V n] ⇒ He managed to free one hand to ward off a punch.
15. adjective [ADJ n] When someone is using one hand or arm to hold or move something, their other hand or arm is referred to as their free one. ⇒ He snatched up the receiver and his free hand groped for the switch on the bedside lamp. ⇒ She checked her fall with her free arm. 16. graded adjective & adjective [v-link ADJ with n] If you say that someone is free with something such as advice or money, you mean that they give a lot of it, sometimes when it is not wanted. [disapproval] ⇒ They weren't always so free with their advice. ⇒ They would often be free with criticism, some of it unjustified.
COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © Harper Collins Publishers