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An unfair advantage or special treatment that a person receives without earning it or paying for it. Even though his grades were poor, Gary thought he should get a free ride to college because he was a football star. You're getting a free ride living with your parents. You don't even have to pay rent!
1. Lit. a ride to somewhere for which no payment is demanded. I got a free ride from a truck driver who was headed for town. I won't call a taxi when I can get a free ride.
2. Fig. an easy time; participation without contributing anything. You've had a free ride long enough. You have to do your share of the work now. No more free rides around here. Get off your duff and get a job!
a free rideINFORMAL
COMMON If someone gets a free ride in a particular situation, they get a benefit without working or paying for it. I never wanted anyone to think I was getting a free ride or special treatment from the boss. I certainly wasn't just sitting around, getting a free ride. Note: This expression is used to show disapproval.
n. an easy time; participation without contributing anything. You’ve had a free ride long enough. You have to do your share of the work now.