Definition of free-living in US English:



  • 1Having or characterized by an uninhibited or independent lifestyle.

    ‘the free-living Sixties’
  • 2Biology
    Living freely and independently, not as a parasite or attached to a substrate.

    • ‘Parasitoids are both parasites and free-living predators; they spend part of their lives inside another animal and part on their own.’
    • ‘The ecological roles of spirochetes are varied; the group includes both aerobic and anaerobic species, and both free-living and parasitic forms.’
    • ‘The adult parasitoid is free-living, and the main task of females is finding new hosts for the next generation.’
    • ‘Throughout the history of our field, researchers have conducted physiological and behavioral studies of free-living animals using innovative techniques, novel engineering and natural ingenuity.’
    • ‘However, exceptionally warm or dry conditions may result in higher mortality rates of the free-living stages of parasites (especially for those with direct life cycles) and offset some of the effects of more rapid development rates.’