- Definition : A free morpheme is a morpheme (the smallest part of a word which carries meaning) which can exist in isolation, functioning as a single word.
- Examples : The words friend or step.
- Free morphemes can combine with other free morphemes to form compound words (footstep, handcuffs, wheelchair, newspaper) and can also combine with bound morphemes (morphemes which cannot exist independently of a free morpheme)- eg unfriendly to change meaning and/or word class.
McCarthy, M. 1990, Vocabulary, OUP
(Don't forget that Amazon often has both new and used copies of the books you want at prices lower than those shown here. It's always worth clicking to find out.)