Definition of free-for-all in US English:



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

    • ‘There's no real message - it's a bit of a free-for-all with no-one and nothing escaping unscathed.’
    • ‘The country is just too fragile for a journalistic free-for-all, they say.’
    • ‘So the actual governing of this situation here right now is a little bit of a free-for-all.’
    • ‘The free-for-all was an event where the clowns fought each other with oversized mauls for ten minutes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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 music is loud and intense, and the dancing is more like a free-for-all karate-match than a style.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Driving in Colombo's permanent rush-hour is a free-for-all in which the most daring chancer wins.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘While they watched their country disintegrate, the war became an international free-for-all.’
    • ‘Since just about anyone can make a citizen's arrest, many situations quickly devolve into free-for-alls.’
    • ‘Everyone knows that sailing on the Auckland harbour is a free-for-all.’
    • ‘What had been a tightly played game suddenly turned into a free-for-all as the pitcher lost control.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The curators can be applauded in their attempt to give structure to the traditional 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.’
    brawl, fight, scuffle, tussle, struggle, battle, confrontation, clash, altercation, fray, fracas, melee, rumpus, riot, commotion, disturbance
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/ˈˌfrē fə ˈˌrôl//ˈˌfri fə ˈˌrɔl/