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free agent

1. A professional, especially an athlete, who is able to enter a contract with any organization without restrictions. The star quarterback will be a free agent when his contract ends after the season, and everyone expects him to sign with whatever team offers the most money.
2. By extension, a person who has no limitations placed on him or her by others, either professionally or socially. I just broke up with my girlfriend, so I'm a free agent again!
See also: agent, free

a free agent

someone whose actions are not limited or controlled by anyone else Once the divorce has come through you'll be a free agent again.
See also: agent, free

free agent

1. A person not under compulsion or constraint, not responsible to any authority for his or her actions. For example, After he quit his job, he decided to pursue the same line of work as a free agent. Originally used to describe a person subject to the philosophic concept of free will (as opposed to determinism), this expression was first recorded in 1662. Later it was extended to mean "someone not under obligation to an authority."
2. A professional athlete who is free to sign a contract with any team. For example, After he was released from the Yankees, he was a free agent and could shop around for the team that offered the most money . [Second half of 1900s]
See also: agent, free
References in classic literature ?
He immediately sent a copy of Bell's patent to every agent, with orders to hold the fort against all opposition.
As to the principal partners, or agents, who resided in Montreal and Quebec, they formed a kind of commercial aristocracy, living in lordly and hospitable style.
There is an agent of ours, a fellow I have been employing for purchasing supplies, a perfectly honest man.
Quick work disposed of these and cleared his cabin, the agent waiting to take him to the office.
In the last place, the actions should be such as may not only be within the compass of human agency, and which human agents may probably be supposed to do; but they should be likely for the very actors and characters themselves to have performed; for what may be only wonderful and surprizing in one man, may become improbable, or indeed impossible, when related of another.
Sedley, who thought the Major had some roguish intentions of his own about the money, was strongly against this plan; and he went to the agents to protest personally against the employment of the money in question, when he learned, to his surprise, that there had been no such sum in their hands, that all the late Captain's assets did not amount to a hundred pounds, and that the five hundred pounds in question must be a separate sum, of which Major Dobbin knew the particulars.
It proved to be a long mile and a half, but they walked it, and half an hour or so later the agent put in an appearance.
And I see, Captain, you were right to make use of this agent that takes the place of wind, water, and steam.
Payette, a leader of the Hudson's Bay Company, who was about to depart with a number of men, by a more circuitous, but safe route, to carry supplies to the company's agent, resident among the Upper Nez Perces.
As the Indian agent of New York had a log dwelling at the foot of the lake, however, it is not impossible that the appellation grew out of the meetings that were held at his council fires; the war drove off the agent, in common with the other officers of the crown; and his rude dwelling was soon abandoned.
After some consideration, he decided on applying to the agent who collected the rents at Hardyman's London chambers.
AN Insurance Agent was trying to induce a Hard Man to Deal With to take out a policy on his house.
He, too, gave me the impression that he was not a free agent, as we talked I began to see that he was mentally superior to the average of his kind.
Having already decided on adopting, as a means of living, the calling of a concert-singer, she has arranged to place her interests in the hands of an old friend of her late mother (who appears to have belonged also to the musical profession): a dramatic and musical agent long established in the metropolis, and well known to her as a trustworthy and respectable man.
I suppose, up to now, your lawyer has done it for you, or your business agent.