Definition of free will in English:

free will


  • [mass noun] The power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion.

    • ‘Critics saw the novel as an impassioned plea for the necessity of human free will.’
    • ‘If after reading these, you find yourself depressed about not having free will, please be in touch.’
    • ‘No one thinks that machines have free will, yet they may well be beyond the control of their makers.’
    • ‘Rather, in the first place, she observes that the fact of free will is available to introspection.’
    • ‘Let's run through some arguments for free will, followed by the determinist's responses.’
    • ‘I also realised that my explanation may have suggested a lack of free will.’
    • ‘If fewer genes meant more freedom, then we would have to say flies and amoeba have more free will than humans.’
    • ‘The critics liked to quote the treatise as containing arguments for free will unrefuted even by their author.’
    • ‘An even more fundamental belief that is required for a magician is the belief in individual free will.’
    • ‘If there is any definition of what the soul gives you, it's free will; it's the freedom to choose.’
    • ‘You always retain free will, and you may act on any given influence in a positive, negative or indifferent way.’
    • ‘This insight was the basis for Descartes's defense of free will and of the mind's ability to control the body.’
    • ‘But science will shrink the space in which free will can operate by slowly exposing the mechanism of decision making.’
    • ‘If you choose to engage in these activities it is by your own free will and at your own volition.’
    • ‘Although we are rational agents that make real choices, we don't have free will that's independent of causality.’
    • ‘After all, isn't God said to be a being who has genuine free will and yet always chooses the good?’
    • ‘That free will, the freedom to choose whether or not to believe, is the basis of faith.’
    • ‘Compatibilist philosophies seek to reconcile free will and determinism in a modern time.’
    • ‘If reality is subjective to the observer, isn't that the ultimate confirmation of free will?’
    • ‘Rather he chose to give them complete free will so that they could choose to obey or not to obey.’
    volition, independence, self-determination, self-sufficiency, autonomy, spontaneity
    freedom, liberty
    voluntarily, willingly, readily, freely, spontaneously, without reluctance, without being forced, without being asked, without being encouraged
    of one's own accord, of one's own volition, of one's own choosing, by one's own preference
    View synonyms


  • [attributive] (especially of a donation) voluntary:

    ‘free-will offerings’
    • ‘However, the intrepid duo persevered and the free-will gifts eventually got bagged.’
    • ‘Cost for the dinner is a free-will offering along with the donation of one canned food item.’
    • ‘Moses, however, does not rely on free-will offerings.’
    • ‘There is no charge for the event (we will take a free-will offering), and like all Worship Freehouse events, it is open for all ages.’


free will