An ELT Glossary : Free morphemes




  • Definition : 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, step ladder) 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.