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- IPA: /fɹe:o/
From Proto-Germanic *frijaz, from Proto-Indo-European *prijos, *prēy- (“‘like, love’”). Germanic cognates include Old Saxon frī- (in frīlik) (Dutch vrij), Old High German frī (German frei), Gothic 𐍆𐍂𐌴𐌹𐍃 (freis). The IE root is also the source of Proto-Slavic *prijatelь (Old Church Slavonic приятєль (prijatelĭ), Russian приятель (prijátel), “‘friend’”)), Old Irish ríar (Welsh rhydd (“‘free’”)), and perhaps Ancient Greek πρᾶος (praos), “‘mild, gentle’”).
- free, at liberty; exempt
- Beo he freo: he shall be free. (Alfred’s Laws)
- (poetic) noble, glad
- Ða wearþ worn afeded freora bearna: then a number of noble children were brought forth. (Cædmon’s Metrical Paraphrase)
From Proto-Germanic *fraw-, a feminine form of *frauja- (“‘lord’”) (Old English frēa), from Proto-Indo-European *prōw- (“‘master, judge’”). Cognate with Old Saxon frūa, Old High German frouwa (German Frau), Old Norse freyja. The IE root is also the source of Proto-Slavic *prāvъ (Old Church Slavonic правъ (pravŭ), Russian правый (правый), “‘right’”)), and the first element of Latin provincia.
- a woman
- Oþ-ðæt he funde freo fægroste: until he found the fairest woman. (Cædmon’s Metrical Paraphrase)
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