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 ?
She thought that gave her free rein to characterise [the accused] any way she wanted.
Her mom had died when she was little, but her dad adored and trusted her and gave her free rein to save others.
I ordered a set of Officer's-size 19t 1 grips and gave her free rein on the type of wood and design of the grips.
Nagel loves the "disorganised profusion" of spring and reveals that Jo Malone gave her free rein to create floral fragrances with a certain eccentricity - hence the quirky mix of White Lilac & Rhubarb, inspired by the sweet softness of lilac and bold, red, tart, bitter rhubarb - "it's like an attraction of opposites," she says.