Free bench
Free 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 love, Goth. frij[=o]n. Cf. {Affray}, {Belfry}, {Friday}, {Friend}, {Frith} inclosure.] 1. Exempt from subjection to the will of others; not under restraint, control, or compulsion; able to follow one's own impulses, desires, or inclinations; determining one's own course of action; not dependent; at liberty. [1913 Webster]

That which has the power, or not the power, to operate, is that alone which is or is not free. --Locke. [1913 Webster]

2. Not under an arbitrary or despotic government; subject only to fixed laws regularly and fairly administered, and defended by them from encroachments upon natural or acquired rights; enjoying political liberty. [1913 Webster]

3. Liberated, by arriving at a certain age, from the control of parents, guardian, or master. [1913 Webster]

4. Not confined or imprisoned; released from arrest; liberated; at liberty to go. [1913 Webster]

Set an unhappy prisoner free. --Prior. [1913 Webster]

5. Not subjected to the laws of physical necessity; capable of voluntary activity; endowed with moral liberty; -- said of the will. [1913 Webster]

Not free, what proof could they have given sincere Of true allegiance, constant faith, or love. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

6. Clear of offense or crime; guiltless; innocent. [1913 Webster]

My hands are guilty, but my heart is free. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

7. Unconstrained by timidity or distrust; unreserved; ingenuous; frank; familiar; communicative. [1913 Webster]

He was free only with a few. --Milward. [1913 Webster]

8. Unrestrained; immoderate; lavish; licentious; -- used in a bad sense. [1913 Webster]

The critics have been very free in their censures. --Felton. [1913 Webster]

A man may live a free life as to wine or women. --Shelley. [1913 Webster]

9. Not close or parsimonious; liberal; open-handed; lavish; as, free with his money. [1913 Webster]

10. Exempt; clear; released; liberated; not encumbered or troubled with; as, free from pain; free from a burden; -- followed by from, or, rarely, by of. [1913 Webster]

Princes declaring themselves free from the obligations of their treaties. --Bp. Burnet. [1913 Webster]

11. Characteristic of one acting without restraint; charming; easy. [1913 Webster]

12. Ready; eager; acting without spurring or whipping; spirited; as, a free horse. [1913 Webster]

13. Invested with a particular freedom or franchise; enjoying certain immunities or privileges; admitted to special rights; -- followed by of. [1913 Webster]

He therefore makes all birds, of every sect, Free of his farm. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

14. Thrown open, or made accessible, to all; to be enjoyed without limitations; unrestricted; not obstructed, engrossed, or appropriated; open; -- said of a thing to be possessed or enjoyed; as, a free school. [1913 Webster]

Why, sir, I pray, are not the streets as free For me as for you? --Shak. [1913 Webster]

15. Not gained by importunity or purchase; gratuitous; spontaneous; as, free admission; a free gift. [1913 Webster]

16. Not arbitrary or despotic; assuring liberty; defending individual rights against encroachment by any person or class; instituted by a free people; -- said of a government, institutions, etc. [1913 Webster]

17. (O. Eng. Law) Certain or honorable; the opposite of {base}; as, free service; free socage. --Burrill. [1913 Webster]

18. (Law) Privileged or individual; the opposite of common; as, a free fishery; a free warren. --Burrill. [1913 Webster]

19. Not united or combined with anything else; separated; dissevered; unattached; at liberty to escape; as, free carbonic acid gas; free cells. [1913 Webster]

{Free agency}, the capacity or power of choosing or acting freely, or without necessity or constraint upon the will.

{Free bench} (Eng. Law), a widow's right in the copyhold lands of her husband, corresponding to dower in freeholds.

{Free board} (Naut.), a vessel's side between water line and gunwale.

{Free bond} (Chem.), an unsaturated or unemployed unit, or bond, of affinity or valence, of an atom or radical.

{Free-borough men} (O.Eng. Law). See {Friborg}.

{Free chapel} (Eccles.), a chapel not subject to the jurisdiction of the ordinary, having been founded by the king or by a subject specially authorized. [Eng.] --Bouvier.

{Free charge} (Elec.), a charge of electricity in the free or statical condition; free electricity.

{Free church}. (a) A church whose sittings are for all and without charge. (b) An ecclesiastical body that left the Church of Scotland, in 1843, to be free from control by the government in spiritual matters.

{Free city}, or {Free town}, a city or town independent in its government and franchises, as formerly those of the Hanseatic league.

{Free cost}, freedom from charges or expenses. --South.

{Free and easy}, unconventional; unrestrained; regardless of formalities. [Colloq.] ``Sal and her free and easy ways.'' --W. Black.

{Free goods}, goods admitted into a country free of duty.

{Free labor}, the labor of freemen, as distinguished from that of slaves.

{Free port}. (Com.) (a) A port where goods may be received and shipped free of custom duty. (b) A port where goods of all kinds are received from ships of all nations at equal rates of duty.

{Free public house}, in England, a tavern not belonging to a brewer, so that the landlord is free to brew his own beer or purchase where he chooses. --Simmonds.

{Free school}. (a) A school to which pupils are admitted without discrimination and on an equal footing. (b) A school supported by general taxation, by endowmants, etc., where pupils pay nothing for tuition; a public school.

{Free services} (O.Eng. Law), such feudal services as were not unbecoming the character of a soldier or a freemen to perform; as, to serve under his lord in war, to pay a sum of money, etc. --Burrill.

{Free ships}, ships of neutral nations, which in time of war are free from capture even though carrying enemy's goods.

{Free socage} (O.Eng. Law), a feudal tenure held by certain services which, though honorable, were not military. --Abbott.

{Free States}, those of the United States before the Civil War, in which slavery had ceased to exist, or had never existed.

{Free stuff} (Carp.), timber free from knots; clear stuff.

{Free thought}, that which is thought independently of the authority of others.

{Free trade}, commerce unrestricted by duties or tariff regulations.

{Free trader}, one who believes in free trade.

{To make free with}, to take liberties with; to help one's self to. [Colloq.]

{To sail free} (Naut.), to sail with the yards not braced in as sharp as when sailing closehauled, or close to the wind. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Free Bench — is a legal term relating to an ancient manorial custom in England whereby a widow could retain tenure of the land until she remarried. Free Bench (francus bancus). The widow s right to a copyhold. It is not a dower or gift, but a free right… …   Wikipedia

  • Free bench — ( francus bancus ), in English law, is the interest which a widow has in the copyhold lands of her husband, corresponding to dower in the case of freeholds. It depends upon the custom of the manor, but as a general rule the widow takes a third… …   Wikipedia

  • free-bench — freeˈ bench noun (historical) A widow s right to an endowment out of her husband s lands • • • Main Entry: ↑free …   Useful english dictionary

  • Free-Bench —    In the will of Anketin de Betteville occurs the expression saving to Matilda his wife her free bench out of his mansion in Bradstreet according to the custom of the City, 1290 1 (Ct. H.W. I. 96).    Robert de Wyrcestre gave to his wife for… …   Dictionary of London

  • free bench — noun or free bank Etymology: translation of Medieval Latin francus bancus : the interest formerly held in English law by a widow or sometimes a widower in the copyhold or customary lands of the deceased spouse compare dower 1 …   Useful english dictionary

  • Free Bench — ♦ Dower lands assigned for a widow s maintenance. (Bennett, Judith M. Women in the Medieval English Countryside, 234) …   Medieval glossary

  • free-bench — In old English law, a widow s dower out of copyholds to which she was entitled by the custom of some manors. It was regarded as an excrescence growing out of the husband s interest, and was a continuance of his estate …   Black's law dictionary

  • free-bench — In old English law, a widow s dower out of copyholds to which she was entitled by the custom of some manors. It was regarded as an excrescence growing out of the husband s interest, and was a continuance of his estate …   Black's law dictionary

  • free bench — A widow s dower in copyhold lands, which she usually held subject to the condition that she should remain chaste and unmarried. See 2 Bl Comm 129 …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • 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

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