freeman

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See also: Freeman

English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

free +‎ -man, paralleled by similar constructions in other Germanic languages.

Noun[edit]

freeman ‎(plural freemen)

  1. A free person, particularly:
    1. (usually historical) A person who is not a serf or slave.
    2. (historical) A burgher with full freedom of a city, as opposed to nobles, outsiders, bondsmen, and others.
    3. An honorary freeman: a person who has received an honorary freedom of a city.
    4. (usually as two words) A person who is a citizen of a free country, as opposed to a subject of a tyranny or totalitarian dictatorship.
      • 1836, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., “Poetry: A Metrical Essay”, republished in The Poems of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Boston, Mass.: Ticknor and Fields, 1862, OCLC 5091562, pages 7–8:
        There breathes no being but has some pretence / To that fine instinct called poetic sense; [] / The freeman, casting with unpurchased hand / The vote that shakes the turrets of the land.
    5. (Australia, historical) A person who immigrated to Australia freely, as opposed to those transported as convicts, or such a transported convict who has regained his freedom.
    6. (US and Canada, historical) An independent fur trapper.

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