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 ?
The school board did not give us free rein to convert their students into anti-nuclear-weapons activists.
On the latest call by the movement for an uprising, Salek said that Khat Achahid "has no means and that the Polisario does not give us free rein in the camps.
Volunteer George Sanderson had been the first to arrive and he was only too pleased to show us around and give us free rein to take some pictures of the lifeboat, Abbie Dean's Spirit of Blyth and Wansbeck.
Let that not give us free rein, because regardless of what genetic baggage we may have, what can never be denied is the tremendous impact it will have on the betrayer and the betrayed.
Ricky said: "A wrong word now could see the sta-tion fined - but a podcast would give us free rein.
Ricky, 44, said: "A wrong word now could see the sta-tion fined - but a podcast would give us free rein.