free


free
free adj Free, independent, sovereign, autonomous, autarchic, autarkic are comparable when they mean not subject to the rule or control of another. The same differences in implications and connotations are found in their corresponding nouns freedom, independence, sovereignty, autonomy, autarchy, autarky when they denote the state or condition of not being subject to external rule or control.
Free and freedom (see also FREEDOM 2) stress the absence of external compulsion or determination and not the absence of restraint. For free as applied to a state, a people, a person, or the will implies self-government and therefore the right to determine one's own acts, one's own laws, and one's own restraints or to accept or reject those that are proposed from without
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for liberty is to be free from restraint and violence from others, which cannot be where there is no law— Locke

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freedom makes man to choose what he likes; that is, makes him freeQuiller-Couch

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Independent and independence have for their fundamental implication lack of relatedness to anyone or anything else; therefore independent implies that the person or thing so described stands alone
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words have a meaning independent of the pattern in which they are arranged— Huxley

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When applied to a state or government, it implies not complete detachment from other states or governments and a refusal to have allies or dominions, but a lack of connection with a state or government that has the power to interfere with one's liberty of action
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the Thirteen Colonies sacrificed their independence, but not their freedom, when they joined the federation that became the United States of America

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When applied to a person or his acts and opinions, it implies either a disposition to stand alone and apart from others, or refusal to accept another's judgments, or self-reliance amounting almost to a fault; thus, a person who is independent in politics is attached to no political party; one might wish that a person he is trying vainly to help were less independent
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an economist should form an independent judgment on currency questions, but an ordinary mortal had better follow authority— Russell

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Sovereign (see also DOMINANT) and sovereignty stress the absence of a superior power and imply the supremacy within its own domain or sphere of what is so described or so designated. As applied to a state or government, these words usually involve the ideas both of political independence and of the possession of original and underived power
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for many years before the Civil War it was debated whether the federal government was sovereign

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the powers of the general government, it has been said, are delegated by the States, who alone are truly sovereign .... It would be difficult to sustain this proposition— John Marshall

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although it [the government of the United States] is sovereign and supreme in its appropriate sphere of action, yet it does not possess all the powers which usually belong to the sovereignty of a nation— Taney

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When used in reference to a thing, both words impute to that thing unquestioned supremacy and imply that everything within its sphere of influence is subject to it
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noble and most sovereign reason— Shak.

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the sovereignty of man lieth hid in knowledge; wherein many things are reserved that kings with their treasure cannot buy, nor with their force command— Bacon

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Autonomous and autonomy may imply independence combined with freedom. The terms are much used in philosophy to describe or designate a theoretical or ideal freedom in which the individual is absolutely self-governing and acknowledges no claim of another to interference or control
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the question is often asked whether an autonomous state and an autonomous church can exist side by side

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if this preeminence and autonomy of the spiritual be not granted, it is misleading to use the word God at all— Inge

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In political use the words seldom imply such absolute independence and freedom, for they are employed largely in reference to states which belong to an empire, a federation, or a commonwealth of nations. In reference to such states autonomy and autonomous commonly imply independence from the central power only in matters pertaining to self-government but recognition of the central governmental sovereignty in matters (as foreign policy) affecting the empire, federation, or commonwealth of nations as a whole. When a state is granted autonomy or become autonomous, the terms of such a grant are usually precisely stated
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the Imperial Conference of 1926 defined the Dominions as "autonomous communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or foreign affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations"— Statesman's Year-Book

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Autarchic and autarchy historically implied absolute sovereignty or absolute or autocratic rule, but they have become interchangeable with autarkic and autarky, and both pairs of words imply economic and especially national economic self-sufficiency; the words are used in reference to states or governments that favor isolation through a policy of rigidly and arbitrarily planned economic self-sufficiency as a means of maintaining their independence
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the totalitarian countries . . . have created a self-encirclement by their abnormal economic policy, their costly and unnatural autarkyManchester Guardian

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each community in Old China was cell-like, largely autonomous and autarkicLinebarger

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the issue today is, therefore, whether a policy aimed at economic nationalism—self-sufficiency— autarchy—creates an environment favorable to the reconstruction of a peaceful, tranquil, confident world— Lewis Douglas

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a network of more or less closed, autarchic economies, each trying to the best of its ability to exist on a self-sufficient basis— Dean

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Analogous words: liberated, emancipated, delivered, freed, released, enfranchised (see FREE vb)
Antonyms: bond
Contrasted words: compelled, coerced, forced, constrained, obliged (see FORCE vb)
free vb Free, release, liberate, emancipate, manumit, deliver, discharge, enfranchise are comparable when meaning to set loose from whatever ties or binds or to make clear of whatever encumbers or holds back.
Free is the ordinary general term interchangeable with many of the succeeding terms; it may be used not only in reference to persons that are in bondage or in a state of dependence or oppression or under restraint or constraint
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free one's slaves

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free an oppressed people

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free a person from prison or from a charge

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free one from the necessity of speaking against a proposal

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but also in reference to things that are confined, entangled, or encumbered and may therefore be unfastened, unloosed, disentangled, or disengaged
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free a squirrel from a trap

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free her hair from a net

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flower scents, that only nighttime freesLowell

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Release carries a stronger implication of loosing or of setting loose from confinement, restraint, or obligation
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release a prisoner

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release a person from a promise

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release me from my bands with the help of your good hands— Shak.

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activities that released his stored-up energy

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death has released him from his sufferings

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only by indulging a deep impulse towards sermonizing could he release those other impulses which made him the great writer he was— Sykes

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Liberate, a very close synonym of the preceding words, differs from them chiefly in carrying a stronger suggestion of resulting liberty. The term may therefore connote, as do the others, emergence from some more or less disagreeable bondage or restraint
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liberate all slaves by a proclamation

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or it may merely suggest a cutting of a tie, relationship, or connection without regard to the power of another thing or things to restrain or restrict, thereby approaching separate, dis-engage, or detach in meaning
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oxygen is liberated when potassium chlorate is heated

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an electric current will decompose water, liberating hydrogen

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the poet draws life . . . from the community . . .: to cut himself off from this source of life is much more likely to cripple than to liberate him— Day Lewis

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liberate a certain group of individuals . . . from shackles inherited from feudalism— Dewe

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Emancipate basically means to free one person from subjection to another (as a child from subjection to his parent or a slave from subjection to his master)
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little more hope than had the son of an Athenian slave to be emancipatedQuiller-Couch

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but the term is more frequently found in an extended sense, implying a liberation of someone or something from what controls or dominates; it usually also suggests a freedom by which one's own judgment or conscience or intelligence decrees the course to be taken or the principles to be followed
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if we can imagine the various County Councils of England emancipated from the control of Parliament and set free to make their own lawsDickinson

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all the philanthropic and humanitarian movements to which the Quakers, now emancipated from the notion that all initiative in such matters is an attempt to force the hand of the Almighty, devoted themselves in the nineteenth century— Inge

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Manumit differs from emancipate in its historical sense in always implying liberation from slavery or servitude; it is therefore sometimes preferred as the more definite term
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Darnall . . . was the son of a white man by one of his slaves, and his father executed certain instruments to manumit him— Taney

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Deliver is comparatively rare as a close synonym of free. But in all of its many extended senses the idea of freeing is the basic, though not the strongest, implication. It is specifically a synonym of rescue (see RESCUE) when it implies release from peril, danger, or other evil
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and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil— Mt 6:13

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It comes close to transfer or convey when it implies a disburdening of oneself of something which belongs to another or is intended for him
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deliver a letter to the addressee

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deliver a package to the purchaser

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or to utter or pronounce when it implies a relieving oneself of something one must say or is charged by oneself or another with saying
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deliver a message over the telephone

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deliver a speech

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The term may denote the disburdening of a woman of offspring at the time of its birth
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the queen was safely delivered of a son and heir

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or the freeing of all prisoners confined in a prison
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deliver a jail

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Discharge (see also DISMISS 1; PERFORM) implies the release of someone or something that is held in confinement or under restraint or within the bounds of a thing; it may suggest liberation
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discharge a prisoner

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discharge a hospital patient

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but often it implies an ejection
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discharge a shot

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discharge an arrow

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or an emission
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discharge passengers from a train

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discharge a cargo

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or a pouring forth through an outlet or vent
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the smoke is discharged through a very large chimney

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the stream discharges its waters into the Hudson river

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or a payment or settlement (as of an obligation)
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discharged his debts

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Often discharge differs from release in carrying a stronger connotation of force or violence
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many creative writers have a critical activity which is not all discharged into their work— T. S. Eliot

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all his accumulated nervous agitation was discharged on Maud like a thunderbolt— Bennett

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Enfranchise basically implies a freeing from subjection
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the nobles desired ... to enfranchise themselves . . . from the power of the king— Belloc

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but in its commonest sense it specifically implies the removal of political disabilities and admission to full political rights as a freeman or as a citizen
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slaves were emancipated by the proclamation of President Lincoln on January 1, 1863, but were not enfranchised until the fifteenth amendment went into effect in 1870

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Contrasted words: *hamper, fetter, manacle, shackle, trammel, hog-tie: *imprison, incarcerate, jail, immure, intern: confine, circumscribe, restrict, *limit: *restrain, curb, inhibit

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Free — (fr[=e]), a. [Compar. {Freer} ( [ e]r); superl. {Freest} ( [e^]st).] [OE. fre, freo, AS. fre[ o], fr[=i]; akin to D. vrij, OS. & OHG. fr[=i], G. frei, Icel. fr[=i], Sw. & Dan. fri, Goth. freis, and also to Skr. prija beloved, dear, fr. pr[=i] to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Free — may refer to: Free will Political freedom Economic freedom Something given or supplied without payment (gratis) Gratis versus Libre, the distinction between the two meanings above Free may also refer to: Contents 1 Arts and philosophy …   Wikipedia

  • Free-mo — stands for free modular and is a relatively new modular standard in the hobby of model railroading.Free mo is a derivation of FREMO, a European modular standard. Free mo s emphasis is on flexibility in track design and prototypical scenery and… …   Wikipedia

  • Free.fr — Free (société) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Free. Logo de Free Dates clés 1999 : accès …   Wikipédia en Français

  • free — [frē] adj. freer, freest [ME fre < OE freo, not in bondage, noble, glad, illustrious, akin to Ger frei, Du vrij < IE base * prei , to be fond of, hold dear > FRIEND, Sans priyá , dear, desired] 1. a) not under the control of some other… …   English World dictionary

  • free — 1 adj 1 a: having the legal and political rights of a citizen representatives...shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons U.S. Constitution art. I b: enjoying civil and political liberty a free people c: enjoying political …   Law dictionary

  • free — free; free·boot; free·boot·er; free·dom; free·dom·ism; free·dom·ist; free·dom·is·tic; free·dom·ite; free·hold·er; free·lage; free·ly; free·man; free·mar·tin; free·ma·son; free·ma·son·ry; free·ness; free·sia; free·styl·er; free·wheel·er; un·free;… …   English syllables

  • .free — Introduced Not officially introduced; proposed in 2010 TLD type Proposed top level domain Status Unofficial proposal Registry dotFree Group s.r.o. Sponsor dotFree Group s.r.o Intended use …   Wikipedia

  • free — (izg. frȋ) prid. <indekl.> DEFINICIJA 1. trg. koji je bez obaveza, dopušten, na kojem nema zapreka, koji nije vezan, kojeg ništa ne sprečava u djelovanju; slobodan, usp. franko 2. pravn. ekon. dio klauzule obveznih ugovora ili ponuda,… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • free — [adj1] without charge chargeless, comp*, complimentary, costless, for love*, for nothing*, freebie*, free of cost, free ride*, gratis, gratuitous, handout, on the cuff*, on the house*, paper*, unpaid, unrecompensed; concept 334 Ant. costly,… …   New thesaurus


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