free

{{11}}free (adj.) O.E. freo "free, exempt from, not in bondage," also "noble; joyful," from P.Gmc. *frijaz (Cf. O.Fris. fri, O.S., O.H.G. vri, Ger. frei, Du. vrij, Goth. freis "free"), from PIE *prijos "dear, beloved," from root *pri- "to love" (Cf. Skt. priyah "own, dear, beloved," priyate "loves;" O.C.S. prijati "to help," prijatelji "friend;" Welsh rhydd "free"). The adverb is from O.E. freon, freogan "to free, love."
The primary sense seems to have been "beloved, friend, to love;" which in some languages (notably Germanic and Celtic) developed also a sense of "free," perhaps from the terms "beloved" or "friend" being applied to the free members of one's clan (as opposed to slaves, Cf. L. liberi, meaning both "free" and "children"). Cf. Goth. frijon "to love;" O.E. freod "affection, friendship," friga "love," friðu "peace;" O.N. friðr, Ger. Friede "peace;" O.E. freo "wife;" O.N. Frigg "wife of Odin," lit. "beloved" or "loving;" M.L.G. vrien "to take to wife, Du. vrijen, Ger. freien "to woo."
Of nations, "not subject to foreign rule or to despotism," it is recorded from late 14c. (Free world "non-communist nations" attested from 1950.) Sense of "given without cost" is 1580s, from notion of "free of cost." Free lunch, originally offered in bars to draw in business, by 1850, Amer.Eng. Free pass on railways, etc., attested by 1850. Free speech in Britain used of a privilege in Parliament since the time of Henry VIII. In U.S., as a civil right, it became a prominent phrase in the debates over the Gag Rule (1836). Free enterprise recorded from 1890; free trade is from 1823. Free will is from early 13c. Free association in psychology is from 1899. Free love "sexual liberation" attested from 1822. Free range (adj.) is attested by 1960. Free and easy "unrestrained" is from 1690s.
{{12}}free (v.) O.E. freogan "to free, liberate, manumit," also "to love, think of lovingly, honor," from freo (see FREE (Cf. free) (adj.)). Cf. O.Fris. fria "to make free;" O.S. friohan "to court, woo;" Ger. befreien "to free," freien "to woo;" O.N. frja "to love;" Goth. frijon "to love." Related: Freed; freeing.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Free — (fr[=e]), a. [Compar. {Freer} ( [ e]r); superl. {Freest} ( [e^]st).] [OE. fre, freo, AS. fre[ o], fr[=i]; akin to D. vrij, OS. & OHG. fr[=i], G. frei, Icel. fr[=i], Sw. & Dan. fri, Goth. freis, and also to Skr. prija beloved, dear, fr. pr[=i] to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Free — may refer to: Free will Political freedom Economic freedom Something given or supplied without payment (gratis) Gratis versus Libre, the distinction between the two meanings above Free may also refer to: Contents 1 Arts and philosophy …   Wikipedia

  • Free-mo — stands for free modular and is a relatively new modular standard in the hobby of model railroading.Free mo is a derivation of FREMO, a European modular standard. Free mo s emphasis is on flexibility in track design and prototypical scenery and… …   Wikipedia

  • Free.fr — Free (société) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Free. Logo de Free Dates clés 1999 : accès …   Wikipédia en Français

  • free — [frē] adj. freer, freest [ME fre < OE freo, not in bondage, noble, glad, illustrious, akin to Ger frei, Du vrij < IE base * prei , to be fond of, hold dear > FRIEND, Sans priyá , dear, desired] 1. a) not under the control of some other… …   English World dictionary

  • free — 1 adj 1 a: having the legal and political rights of a citizen representatives...shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons U.S. Constitution art. I b: enjoying civil and political liberty a free people c: enjoying political …   Law dictionary

  • free — free; free·boot; free·boot·er; free·dom; free·dom·ism; free·dom·ist; free·dom·is·tic; free·dom·ite; free·hold·er; free·lage; free·ly; free·man; free·mar·tin; free·ma·son; free·ma·son·ry; free·ness; free·sia; free·styl·er; free·wheel·er; un·free;… …   English syllables

  • .free — Introduced Not officially introduced; proposed in 2010 TLD type Proposed top level domain Status Unofficial proposal Registry dotFree Group s.r.o. Sponsor dotFree Group s.r.o Intended use …   Wikipedia

  • free — adj Free, independent, sovereign, autonomous, autarchic, autarkic are comparable when they mean not subject to the rule or control of another. The same differences in implications and connotations are found in their corresponding nouns freedom,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • free — (izg. frȋ) prid. <indekl.> DEFINICIJA 1. trg. koji je bez obaveza, dopušten, na kojem nema zapreka, koji nije vezan, kojeg ništa ne sprečava u djelovanju; slobodan, usp. franko 2. pravn. ekon. dio klauzule obveznih ugovora ili ponuda,… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • free — ► ADJECTIVE (freer, freest) 1) not under the control or in the power of another. 2) permitted to take a specified action. 3) not or no longer confined, obstructed, or fixed. 4) not subject to engagements or obligations. 5) not occupied or in use …   English terms dictionary

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