Definition of free-for-all in English:

free-for-all

noun

  • A disorganized or unrestricted situation or event in which everyone may take part, especially a fight, discussion, or trading market.

    • ‘Since just about anyone can make a citizen's arrest, many situations quickly devolve into free-for-alls.’
    • ‘The music is loud and intense, and the dancing is more like a free-for-all karate-match than a style.’
    • ‘The roundabout had no markings before and sometimes could be a bit of a free-for-all, but everyone was used to it and I never heard of any crashes there.’
    • ‘The country is just too fragile for a journalistic free-for-all, they say.’
    • ‘Do we want these decisions to be planned and to know who the decision-makers are, or do we want to leave it to an industry free-for-all?’
    • ‘After establishing a basic rhythmic pattern and singing a verse or two, the group would dive face first into extended, complex, interactive musical free-for-alls.’
    • ‘So the actual governing of this situation here right now is a little bit of a free-for-all.’
    • ‘Some of the women were opposed to a public forum and felt such a meeting could turn into a free-for-all and there would be no structure to the meetings.’
    • ‘While they watched their country disintegrate, the war became an international free-for-all.’
    • ‘Everyone knows that sailing on the Auckland harbour is a free-for-all.’
    • ‘If human violence is just a vast free-for-all of people merely reacting to the wrongs they've suffered, who started the fights in the first place?’
    • ‘The curators can be applauded in their attempt to give structure to the traditional free-for-all.’
    • ‘The free-for-all was an event where the clowns fought each other with oversized mauls for ten minutes.’
    • ‘What had been a tightly played game suddenly turned into a free-for-all as the pitcher lost control.’
    • ‘Some are set up for moderated debate, some seem like a free-for-all, and some do not want arguments.’
    • ‘After that the game descended into a fraught free-for-all.’
    • ‘She is heartbroken that a free-for-all now exists whereby anyone can set up an agency without background checks being done.’
    • ‘Ushers tried to control the free-for-all as the rest competed for the remaining seats toward the back of the hall.’
    • ‘Driving in Colombo's permanent rush-hour is a free-for-all in which the most daring chancer wins.’
    • ‘There's no real message - it's a bit of a free-for-all with no-one and nothing escaping unscathed.’
    brawl, fight, scuffle, tussle, struggle, battle, confrontation, clash, altercation, fray, fracas, melee, rumpus, riot, commotion, disturbance
    breach of the peace
    rammy, swedge
    donnybrook
    dust-up, scrap, set-to, shindy, shindig
    punch-up, bust-up, ruck, barney
    afters
    brannigan
    stoush
    affray
    broil, bagarre
    View synonyms

Pronunciation:

free-for-all

/ˈˌfrē fə ˈˌrôl/