1. The condition of being free of restraints.
2. Liberty of the person from slavery, detention, or oppression.
a. Political independence.
b. Exemption from the arbitrary exercise of authority in the performance of a specific action; civil liberty: freedom of assembly.
4. Exemption from an unpleasant or onerous condition: freedom from want.
5. The capacity to exercise choice; free will: We have the freedom to do as we please all afternoon.
6. Ease or facility of movement: loose sports clothing, giving the wearer freedom.
7. Frankness or boldness; lack of modesty or reserve: the new freedom in movies and novels.
a. The right to unrestricted use; full access: was given the freedom of their research facilities.
b. The right of enjoying all of the privileges of membership or citizenship: the freedom of the city.
9. A right or the power to engage in certain actions without control or interference: "the seductive freedoms and excesses of the picaresque form" (John W. Aldridge).
[Middle English fredom, from Old English frēodōm : frēo, free; see free + -dōm, -dom.]
Synonyms: freedom, liberty, license
These nouns refer to the power to act, speak, or think without externally imposed restraints. Freedom is the most general term: "In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free" (Abraham Lincoln).
Liberty stresses the power of free choice: "liberty, perfect liberty, to think, feel, do just as one pleases" (William Hazlitt).
License sometimes denotes deliberate deviation from normally applicable rules or practices to achieve a desired effect: poetic license.
Frequently, though, it denotes undue freedom: "the intolerable license with which the newspapers break . . . the rules of decorum" (Edmund Burke).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
1. personal liberty, as from slavery, bondage, serfdom, etc
2. liberation or deliverance, as from confinement or bondage
3. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the quality or state of being free, esp to enjoy political and civil liberties
4. (usually foll by from) the state of being without something unpleasant or bad; exemption or immunity: freedom from taxation.
5. the right or privilege of unrestricted use or access: the freedom of a city.
6. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) autonomy, self-government, or independence
7. the power or liberty to order one's own actions
8. (Philosophy) philosophy the quality, esp of the will or the individual, of not being totally constrained; able to choose between alternative actions in identical circumstances
9. ease or frankness of manner; candour: she talked with complete freedom.
10. excessive familiarity of manner; boldness
11. ease and grace, as of movement; lack of effort
[Old English frēodōm]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003