We usually use the word "free" as an adjective or as a verb. It has many interesting applications.

You probably hear it most often as an adjective when there is absolutely no cost for something:

  • These books are free. (You don’t have to pay any money for them.)
  • We saw a free concert last night.
  • You can use this website for free.

We also use "free" to describe living conditions and political expression:

  • Feel free to say what you like.
  • Do you feel free to express yourself in the country where you live?
  • You are free to come and go during the conference.
  • When you retire, you are free to do what you want to do every day.
  • Are you free later on today? (free = to have time)
  • What time are you free?

You can add "free" to the end of a noun to explain the absence of something:

  • This pop is sugar free. (There’s no sugar in it.)
  • She leads a carefree life. (She has no concerns.)
  • He’s finally cancer free. (The cancer is gone.)

As a verb, the word "free" means to release or let something go.

simplepastpast participle
  • Tim freed the rabbit from his cage. (He let the rabbit out of his cage.)
  • The man was freed from prison after serving eight years.
  • Can you free up sometime to meet me next week?
  • Tanya freed herself from her debt by paying off all of her credit cards.
  • Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves from slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation.

freed slaveHe’s free!

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This page was first published on July 4, 2012. It was updated on March 8, 2016.