Words related to free


prī-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to love." In some languages (notably Germanic and Celtic) it developed derivatives with the sense "free, not in bondage," perhaps via "beloved" or "friend" being applied to the free members of one's clan (as opposed to slaves).

It forms all or part of: afraid; affray; filibuster; Frederick; free; freebooter; freedom; friend; Friday; Frigg; Godfrey; Geoffrey; Siegfried; Winfred.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit priyah "own, dear, beloved," priyate "loves;" Old Church Slavonic prijati "to help," prijatelji "friend;" Welsh rhydd "free;" Old English freo "exempt from; not in bondage, acting of one's own will," Gothic frijon "to love," Old English freod "affection, friendship, peace," friga "love," friðu "peace," Old Norse Frigg, name of the wife of Odin, literally "beloved" or "loving."

care-free (adj.)
also carefree, "free from cares," 1795, from care (n.) + free (adj.). In Old English and Middle English this idea was expressed by careless.
fancy-free (adj.)
"free from the trammels of love, having the 'fancy' or affection free," 1580s, from fancy (n.) + free (adj.).
also freeby, 1942 (adj.) "for nothing, without charge;" 1946 (n.) "something given for free;" perhaps as early as 1900; formed "Arbitrarily" [OED] from free (adj.). Compare newbie, rudesby.
free-born (adj.)
"inheriting liberty," mid-14c., from free (adj.) + born. Old English had freolic (adj.) "free, free-born; glorious, magnificent, noble; beautiful, charming," which became Middle English freli, "a stock epithet of compliment," but which died out, perhaps as the form merged with that of freely (adv.).
freedman (n.)
"manumitted slave," c. 1600, from past participle of free (adj.) + man (n.). Especially in U.S. history. The older word is freeman. Freedman's Bureau (1865) was the popular name of the "Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands," an office of the War Department established by Congress March 3, 1865, and discontinued in 1872.
freedom (n.)

Old English freodom "power of self-determination, state of free will; emancipation from slavery, deliverance;" see free (adj.) + -dom. Meaning "exemption from arbitrary or despotic control, civil liberty" is from late 14c. Meaning "possession of particular privileges" is from 1570s. Similar formation in Old Frisian fridom, Dutch vrijdom, Middle Low German vridom.

It has been said by some physicians, that life is a forced state. The same may be said of freedom. It requires efforts, it presupposes mental and moral qualities of a high order to be generally diffused in the society where it exists. [John C. Calhoun, speech, U.S. House of Representatives, Jan. 31, 1816]
[F]reedom is only truly freedom when it appears against the background of an artificial limitation. [T.S. Eliot, "Reflections on 'Vers Libre'"]

Freedom fighter attested by 1903 (originally with reference to Cuba). Freedom-loving (adj.) is from 1841.  Freedom-rider is recorded from 1961 in reference to civil rights activists in U.S. trying to integrate bus lines. 

free-fall (n.)

also freefall, "motion of a body where gravity is the only force acting upon it," by 1906, from free (adj.) + fall (v.). Related: Free-falling (1962).

free-hand (adv.)
of drawing, "done without guiding instruments such as engineer's curves," 1848; see free (adj.) + hand (n.).
free-handed (adj.)
"generous, liberal," 1650s, from free (adj.) + -handed.