a. The condition of not being in prison or captivity: gave the prisoners their freedom.
b. The condition of being free of restraints, especially the ability to act without control or interference by another or by circumstance: In retirement they finally got the freedom to travel.
a. The condition of not being controlled by another nation or political power; political independence.
b. The condition of not being subject to a despotic or oppressive power; civil liberty.
c. The condition of not being constrained or restricted in a specific aspect of life by a government or other power: freedom of assembly.
d. The condition of not being a slave.
a. The condition of not being affected or restricted by a given circumstance or condition: freedom from want.
b. The condition of not being bound by established conventions or rules: The new style of painting gave artists new freedoms.
4. The capacity to act by choice rather than by determination, as from fate or a deity; free will: We have the freedom to do as we please all afternoon.
5. The right to unrestricted use; full access: was given the freedom of their research facilities.
6. Ease or facility of movement: loose sports clothing, giving the wearer freedom.
7. Archaic Boldness in behavior; lack of modesty or reserve.
[Middle English fredom, from Old English frēodōm : frēo, free; see FREE + -dōm, -dom.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.