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

,

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 ?
They then compounded their error by not confining those carrying such devices into restricted areas and instead gave them free rein to inflict their anti-social behaviour on the rest of us who had gone naively anticipating that we would be able to focus on the game itself.
Olsen assembled an all-star nonet of friends and colleagues, including trumpeter Bobby Shew and saxophonists Dick Oatts and Lynn Baker, and gave them free rein to wander through his compositions and add their unique voices to the proceedings, a press release says.
They both have known me for many years and so gave them free rein to choose which pieces would be the best reflection of my work," Sharif said.
The children loved taking part in this art project as often their teaching is very structured and this gave them free rein to paint whatever they wanted.
I can be as jumpy as anyone else, but I gave them free rein to build in some tension and terror.
She is presented as the prototype of what Lloyd, following Hildegard Baumgart, sees as one of the 'figures of a male-dominated society which justifies itself through the depiction of women who must be tamed and subordinated to a patriarchal culture, for if one gave them free rein, then they would be like that' (p.