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 ?
Brosnan said the only way to deal with a man of that talent was to give him free rein and admitted he stood no chance of competing with him.
Ryan agreed: "Gary knows I'm always pushing to do raw punk rock and so as a result he take cares of the gentler stuff, and I give him free rein so we have a good balance on the record.
A source said: "Simon respects Matt as an artist and he doesn't want to stifle his creative side, but that certainly doesn't mean he is going to give him free rein to release whatever song he wants.
Give him free rein with a company and he has the potential to lead that troupe into the national spotlight.
They slammed the move yesterday to give him free rein to express his weird views on TV, saying: "Jackson will jump at the chance to vent his sick rantings against the world.
continues to give him free rein remains to be seen.
If they give him free rein, he's going to wreak havoc with Division III.
Ferguson will give him free rein to train United's multi-million-pound stars.