Definitions of Freedom

 

In George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel, 1984, the word “Freedom” had been reduced to a single meaning.  That meaning had nothing to do with liberty or freedom of choice.  Once the word and associated concept had been reduced to nothing more than a way of describing a state of lacking something (e.g., this street is free of trash), people lost all knowledge of what it meant to be free.

To begin, it seems appropriate to list all 17 of the current definitions of the word “freedom” as according to Dictionary.com.

[free-duh m] 
 
noun

1.

the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint:

He won his freedom after a retrial.

2.

exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.

3.

the power to determine action without restraint.

4.

political or national independence.

5.

personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery:

a slave who bought his freedom.

6.

exemption from the presence of anything specified (usually followed by from):

freedom from fear.

7.

the absence of or release from ties, obligations, etc.

8.

ease or facility of movement or action:

to enjoy the freedom of living in the country.

9.

frankness of manner or speech.

10.

general exemption or immunity:

freedom from taxation.

11.

the absence of ceremony or reserve.

12.

a liberty taken.

13.

a particular immunity or privilege enjoyed, as by a city orcorporation:

freedom to levy taxes.

14.

civil liberty, asopposed to subjection to an arbitrary or despotic government.

15.

the right to enjoy all the privileges or special rights of citizenship,membership, etc., in a community or the like.

16. 

the right to frequent, enjoy, or use at will:

to have the freedom of a friend’s library.

17.

Philosophy. the power to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without; autonomy; self-determination.

Compare necessity (def 7).

To these above definitions, I’m adding two: freedom from drugs & alcohol, and freedom as defined by those who have served their country.  These are two definitions that can only be fully understood by those who have experienced them.  If you have recovered from substance abuse or served your country in the armed forces and would like to write a guest post describing what freedom means to you, email me at bnibley@meaningoffreedom.com

Freedom of speech. Freedom from the tyranny of central banking.

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