Definition of free-rider in US English:



  • 1Originally US. Originally: a person who rides a train, bus, etc., without having paid for it (when others have). Now chiefly: a person who, or organization which, benefits (or seeks to benefit) in some way from the effort of others, without making a similar contribution.

  • 2Sport. A person who participates in free-riding.


Early 19th century (in an earlier sense). From free + rider.