give (one) free rein

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give (one) free rein

To give one complete freedom to do what one wants or chooses. "Rein" refers to the reins of a horse. Can you believe the boss gave me free rein on this project? Finally, I can present a campaign with my own vision!
See also: free, give, rein

give someone free rein

or

give someone a free rein

COMMON If you give someone free rein or give someone a free rein, you give them all the freedom they want or need to do something. Note: The reference in these expressions is to a rider using the reins to control a horse. He was given free rein to manage the project as he wished. Much to her delight, she was given a free rein to decorate the house exactly as she wanted. Note: You can also say that you allow someone free reign. The artists were allowed free rein to produce what they thought fitted the space. Note: You can also say that you have free rein. The children have free rein to choose the subjects that they want to study.
See also: free, give, rein, someone

give/allow somebody/something free/full ˈrein

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give/allow free/full ˈrein to somebody/something

not restrict, limit or control something: In a novel the author need not keep to the facts, but a textbook is not the place to give free rein to your imagination. OPPOSITE: keep a tight rein on somebody/something
A rein is a long leather band that is fastened around a horse’s neck and used by the rider to control the speed of the horse.
References in periodicals archive ?
The creation of more complicated wheelwork and the use of extremely meticulous spiral springs gave free rein to clockmakers' imaginations, who invented animated objects that fascinated philosophers and scientists alike.
It was all about the legs at Aintree as fans gave free rein to their more exuberant style ahead of today's "Chanel" dress code for Ladies Day.
Visitors could record their own voice in the college's recording studios and gave free rein to their creativity to decorate biscuits.
The highlight of the afternoon was an arts and craft class where the children gave free rein to their artistic expression.
The home side gave free rein to their attacking instincts to the delight of the locals at Griffin Park.
A more sharply problematic aspect of Pollock's art during the late '40s has to do with a recurrent desire for figuration, specifically for a kind of shape definition that is at odds with the radically abstract premises of the new way of working: The paintings in which he gave free rein to that desire, such as White Cockatoo: Number 24A, 1948; Summertime: Number 9A, 1948, and The Wooden Horse: Number 10A, 1948; are among the weakest of the period.
The formal investiture continued nearby in the ballroom while Wayne, 50, gave free rein to his delight.
Perhaps it was because it gave free rein to my imagination.
And when, after making these hard-edged stripe paintings for five years, Scully finally gave free rein to his coloristic impulses, he simultaneously reintroduced other "impurities" - unruled lines, obvious brushstrokes, rough edges offset by strips of underpainted color.
He gave free rein to his second-incommand Monsignor Denis O'Callaghan, who has admitted he cared more about protecting perv priests than victims.