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From Middle English *half-free, from Old English healffrēo (“half-free”), equivalent to half- + free. Cognate with Dutch halfvrij (“half-free”), German halbfrei (“half-free”), Danish halvfri (“half-free”).
half-free (not comparable)
- Halfway or partially free.
- 2013, Matthew W. Cody, Peter Stuyvesant: Dutch Leader of New Netherland (New York):
- Many half-free slaves were forced to continue to work for the Dutch West India Company even after they were set free, and the company even required half-free blacks to pay a yearly tax consisting of crops that they had raised on their farms.
- 2014, William Easterly, The Tyranny of Experts:
- “Half-free” meant that the slaves themselves were now free, but their children would return to slavery. The Dutch gave a half-free slave named Gratia d'Angola a 10acre farm in the 1640s, centered around what is today one block of Greene Street between Prince Street and Houston Street, in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan.
- 2015, Ernst van den Hemel, Asja Szafraniec, Words: Religious Language Matters:
- Yet first, the anonymous rabbis and students begin the sequence of explorations in legality of marriage between half-free people by using more general rules of betrothal.