Definition of freedom in US English:



  • 1The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

    ‘we do have some freedom of choice’
    ‘he talks of revoking some of the freedoms’
    • ‘These days, in theory, just about everyone in the country has freedom to speak.’
    • ‘Our media are a disgrace to the hallowed concept of freedom of the press.’
    • ‘The freedom of scientists to speak out and share their insights is one of the fundamentals of a modern knowledge-based democracy.’
    • ‘As usual, those in the pay of the pesticide industry presume to speak on behalf of freedom of choice and a balanced approach.’
    • ‘The freedom of MPs to speak the truth as they see it has been a jealously protected right in our Westminster system over the centuries.’
    • ‘The present regime is not very tolerant of academic freedom.’
    • ‘In recent years, examples of media abuses of press freedom have been common.’
    • ‘If they can do this so easily then imagine what other freedoms are being compromised.’
    • ‘While York College itself has not taken a stance on the issue, the biologists have academic freedom to speak out, he said.’
    • ‘Fellman won widespread acclaim as an authority in constitutional law and a champion of academic freedom.’
    • ‘So many women of my generation take for granted that women had always had our freedoms.’
    • ‘Charges of censorship, however, will not impress a country that likes to consider itself a champion of literary freedom.’
    • ‘Violence or intimidation against the media could hamper press freedom and eventually deprive the public of its right to information.’
    • ‘I'm not ignorant to the battle by women to win votes, freedoms and equality.’
    • ‘At issue are weighty concepts like press freedom, freedom of belief and, of course, human rights.’
    • ‘We were taken to hear the president speak on religious freedom.’
    • ‘The law gives the government the power to restrict freedom of the press and freedom of assembly and to shut down theaters.’
    • ‘This is excellent news and a triumph for civil liberty and freedom of choice.’
    • ‘They have demanded reforms including free election of the president, a reduction of presidential powers, and freedom of the press.’
    • ‘There is a real political battle on now to defend some of our basic freedoms.’
    right to, entitlement to
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    1. 1.1 Absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government.
      ‘he was a champion of Irish freedom’
      • ‘Natural law provides ‘a framework for government that permits human freedom,’ Jones said.’
      • ‘It was not just in communist-ruled eastern Europe that he spoke up for freedom.’
      • ‘They speak of freedom and democracy, and our way of life and our values, and they deride those who reason why.’
      • ‘Quite a powerful speech, especially the last part on foreign policy and freedom.’
      • ‘The struggle cannot be separated from the struggle for freedom of despotism of all kinds.’
      • ‘Crazy Horse bravely fought for the freedom of the Sioux Nation.’
      • ‘These are age-old canards that undermine freedom and encourage authoritarian states.’
      • ‘At stake is the fate of freedom and democracy as we know it.’
      • ‘We champion freedom not only because it is practical and beneficial but because it is morally right and just.’
      • ‘Lawlessness is arriving as a domestic and foreign assault on legal ideas that endorse freedom and human rights.’
      • ‘Recent policies have cost our nation its reputation as the world's most admired champion of freedom and justice.’
      • ‘He believed that the cause of freedom in a subject nation could not advance any faster than that of its most subject class.’
      • ‘Why did we fight for our freedom and suffer so many battles if our ancient ‘protectors’ are then going to give our land away to the highest bidder?’
      • ‘He denigrated a foreign policy that delivers the rhetoric of freedom and not the reality of economic progress and true liberty.’
      • ‘The writings of Jacques Derrida on freedom and democracy mentioned earlier are not without relevance here as well.’
      • ‘Personally, I'd rather have freedom, democracy, self-determination, and so on.’
      • ‘Like a jailer who throws you into a prison cell while slipping you the key, Europe simultaneously gave the world despotism and freedom.’
      • ‘Monarchy or republic, despotism or freedom, what's the difference?’
      • ‘He does not see the United States as a champion for freedom.’
      • ‘In the long-term, however, the United States has far more to gain from living up to its self-image as the champion of freedom.’
      independence, self-government, self-determination, self-legislation, self rule, home rule, sovereignty, autonomy, autarky, democracy
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    2. 1.2 The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.
      ‘the shark thrashed its way to freedom’
      • ‘Because of his actions 46 people were imprisoned unjustly and lost their freedom for more than three years.’
      • ‘I could give a life for my freedom, or spare a life for my imprisonment.’
      • ‘His parents and elder brother left for Tokyo to appeal for his freedom through Tokyo-based foreign news organizations.’
      • ‘Belle shows him that the bird responds better to freedom and kindness than to imprisonment and threats.’
      • ‘Black sailors helped runaways stow-away to freedom, risking imprisonment to challenge slavery.’
      • ‘The question of whether or not the killers qualify for freedom under the same agreement is one that has given rise to much public debate and disquiet.’
      • ‘I had a bad feeling about this that I just couldn't shake, and even this close to freedom, I still felt imprisoned.’
      • ‘In practice, however, the court served to confirm enslavement at least as often as it established freedom.’
      • ‘Finally, after three years of my imprisonment, I had tasted freedom again.’
      • ‘Eighteen months came and went until her boyfriend and a Congressman were able to secure her freedom.’
      • ‘Thwaites ultimately managed to escape Germany, after his former boss on the Hamburg waterfront intervened on his behalf and he was able to buy himself freedom.’
      • ‘‘Being in Colditz taught us all the value of freedom and tolerance for your fellow men,’ says Lockwood.’
      • ‘As with Mexican legal support for slavery, actual military policy did not consistently grant freedom to the enslaved.’
      • ‘He was a former slave who bought his own freedom and then risked his life to help other enslaved Africans escape.’
      • ‘The residents of the close-knit community of Beaconsfield prepared to celebrate the men's freedom and off licences stocked up on supplies.’
      • ‘Imprisoned Jews could buy freedom if they promised to leave the country, abandoning their assets.’
      • ‘That busy line must be a cruel and tantalising reminder of lost freedom for the inmates of the upstate New York penitentiary.’
      • ‘Although she is freeborn, Alice forfeits her freedom by assisting her enslaved lover's thwarted escape.’
      • ‘But in the end, they all prefer the safety of enslavement to the dangers of freedom.’
      • ‘The temporary freedom was also subject to the condition that he be back at his place of confinement by late Sunday afternoon.’
      liberty, liberation, release, emancipation, deliverance, delivery, discharge, non-confinement, extrication
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    3. 1.3 The state of being physically unrestricted and able to move easily.
      ‘the shorts have a side split for freedom of movement’
      • ‘The men no longer wore the stiff skirt or tonnelet of the 18th century but simple tights, trunks, and tunics which gave them more freedom to move.’
      • ‘The particles in a liquid are loosely bound together, but they move about with relative freedom.’
      • ‘The goal for her is to be able to gain enough freedom of movement so that she can throw her feet up to the left and away from the attacker's body.’
      • ‘Moreover, you have complete freedom to move the camera, and you can even cause it to follow along behind a guest so you can essentially see what it sees.’
      • ‘While clever enough in theory, the chairs in reality clutter the stage and restrict the cast's sorely needed freedom to move.’
      • ‘Through the dance, he wanted to show he was now in the reality of life, with freedom to move.’
      • ‘Free-range hens, for instance, have greater freedom to move about, but are more susceptible to feather pecking and disease.’
      • ‘To create width in the backswing, the right arm needs freedom to move back and up into the proper position at the top.’
    4. 1.4freedom from The state of not being subject to or affected by (a particular undesirable thing)
      ‘government policies to achieve freedom from want’
      • ‘We as a country surrendered and submitted for ages until we got our freedom from the British.’
      • ‘Two other things that war was fought for were freedom of speech and freedom from European control.’
      • ‘We need freedom from our own warped ideas of what is right and what is not.’
      • ‘It's a kind of freedom from just being tied to objects and things that are in the ‘real world’.’
      • ‘It would create the incentive among young people to work hard to obtain their freedom from their parents that home ownership gives.’
      • ‘It was also the last of village France, with palpable limits, yet freedom from ephemeral diversions.’
      • ‘It's freedom of an inner kind, freedom from the dictates of greed, of hatred, of confusion.’
      • ‘India won its freedom from colonial rule, ending nearly 200 years of British rule.’
      • ‘We stood on the side of freedom from a fascist dictator - it is as simple as that.’
      • ‘Celebrate your freedom from the technological yokes of modern life.’
      • ‘When you hire a private jet, you get complete flexibility and freedom from the usual constraints of flying.’
      • ‘Women wanted equal access to positions of power and freedom from the stereotyping of them as inadequate for certain kinds of work.’
      • ‘I find it interesting that not long ago we fought hard for freedom from foreign landlords.’
      • ‘Consider the consequences of our freedom from instinctual or environmental control.’
      • ‘Who could blame her if she decided to reject Royal status in favour of freedom from the burden of civic responsibility?’
      • ‘By the same token the most important factor in transforming their possibilities was freedom from colonial rule.’
      • ‘That's supposedly the day that you colonial types won your freedom from us cruel European overlords.’
      • ‘A question of an individual's freedom from unlawful detention is always serious.’
      • ‘The greater the freedom from the dead hand of state control, the better our health service is likely to become.’
      • ‘This was a symbol of freedom from the social and economic oppression of the time.’
      exemption, immunity, dispensation, exception, exclusion, release, relief, reprieve, absolution, exoneration
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    5. 1.5 The power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity.
      • ‘Freedom for Hegel is not freedom to do as we please; it consists in having a free mind.’
      • ‘This causality of freedom can rule over us only in a condition of free thought and communication.’
      • ‘For Sartre the necessity of freedom is paramount in his thinking.’
      • ‘He also believed that moral agency and freedom are compatible with metaphysical necessity.’
      • ‘She shows us that acknowledging our freedom is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for ethical action.’
      • ‘Therefore, freedom suggests autonomy and the absence of social bonds.’
      • ‘Several approaches to the subject of religion and freedom have been touched upon.’
      • ‘Conferences of philosophers on determinism and freedom aren't the same as they used to be.’
      • ‘From the philosophical point of view the principles relate to the problem of how to combine necessity and freedom.’
      • ‘To demand free sexuality as proof of freedom and ‘inwardness’ is in Hegel's eyes sophistry, serving the exploitation of women.’
      • ‘This chapter raises profound questions concerning freedom, necessity, and the individual will.’
      • ‘In the social and ethical realm, Chicherin placed great emphasis on individual human freedom.’
      • ‘You cannot have self-determination without full freedom.’
      • ‘The notion of freedom was redefined subjectively, as an inner state that can be maintained despite the vicissitudes of political life.’
      • ‘As a young man he took well to the Epicurean view of freedom and independence of spirit, though this led him into the alley of atheism.’
      • ‘Kant's attempt to reconcile determinism and freedom involves placing us in two different realms.’
      • ‘A functionalist theory, by contrast, brings with it a determinist conception of freedom.’
      • ‘The ideals of freedom and self-determination have never been realised; we should see them as sirens calling us on, not as blueprints to be copied from the past.’
      scope, latitude, leeway, margin, flexibility, facility, space, breathing space, room, elbow room
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    6. 1.6 Unrestricted use of something.
      ‘the dog is happy having the freedom of the house when we are out’
      • ‘We had more or less complete freedom of the island and basically went wherever we wanted.’
      • ‘We kept chickens which had the freedom of the garden - free range par excellence!’
      • ‘I had the freedom of the city the Wednesday after that and then it was just the mayhem of being taken from place to place.’
      • ‘What we can do is ensure the future safety of the residents, especially the children, who enjoy the freedom of their village.’
      • ‘Because the entire school is rarely more than 60, it is common for children to have the freedom of the whole building and be in touch with all the staff.’
      • ‘Their 100 guests will have freedom of the house and garden for the rest of the day.’
    7. 1.7archaic Familiarity or openness in speech or behavior.
      • ‘I talked a great deal to him with the freedom I have long used to him on this and on other subjects.’
      • ‘We were surprised to find an openness and freedom between us we hadn't experienced before.’
      • ‘They think that they can make themselves as agreeable to the men as their successful rivals, by adopting the same style and allowing the same freedom of conversation.’
      naturalness, openness, lack of inhibition, lack of reserve, casualness, informality, lack of ceremony, spontaneity, ingenuousness
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Old English frēodōm (see free, -dom).