for free


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Idioms, Wikipedia.
Related to for free: Free sample, Free Stuff

for free

Said of a capability of a programming language or hardware equipment that is available by its design without needing cleverness to implement: "In APL, we get the matrix operations for free." "And owing to the way revisions are stored in this system, you get revision trees for free." The term usually refers to a serendipitous feature of doing things a certain way (compare big win), but it may refer to an intentional but secondary feature.
References in periodicals archive ?
To a striking extent, the case they make for free trade bears no relation to the one made by Adam Smith and his successors in the economics profession.
He posits a world where that model - first embraced in radio and television and now reaching its heights in the Internet - would lead to urban buses outfitted with TVs, plying city streets for free while flashing ads at riders.
What economists have done well is to work out the technical conditions under which free trade promotes the general welfare, and on this issue the consensus for free trade is nearly unanimous.
Instead, he ignores Madison's "complete exemption" of the press from regulation and harks back to the 1930s and proposes a "New Deal" that would do for a free press and the First Amendment what Roosevelt's New Deal did for free markets and the right of contract.