Meaning of free city in English:

free city


  • 1mainly historical A city that constitutes an independent state; a city state.

    ‘Thessalonica became a free city of the Roman Republic’
    • ‘In the early 16th century there were 65 imperial cities (free cities) which were not controlled by a prince.’
    • ‘As a result all the imperial knights and almost all the ecclesiastical princes and free cities lost their sovereign rights.’
    • ‘The guilds gained control of the city council in 1396, and in 1475 Cologne became an imperial free city.’
    • ‘In the Tokugawa Period free cities, such as Sakai, grew in importance and were able to resist attempts to impose trade restrictions on them.’
    • ‘A Syrian Greek, he settled in Rhodes, a prosperous free city with already a reputation for philosophy and science.’
    1. 1.1A semi-autonomous city under the authority of an international body.
      ‘before the war, the free city of Danzig had a mostly German population’
      • ‘Danzig was established as a free city under the League of Nations.’
      • ‘Khrushchev demanded the removal of the Western powers from Berlin, and the creation of an independent free city of West Berlin.’
      • ‘Italy was obliged to cede most of the Istrian peninsula; Trieste became a free city, a status it retained until 1954.’
      • ‘Danzig was made a free city and the district of Bialystok was ceded to Russia.’
      • ‘I base this logic of free cities on the Danzig example of 1919 to 1939, in West Prussia.’
      • ‘Byrnes and Bevin would have none of that either, insisting that the projected "free city" of Trieste must have a frontier with Italy.’
      • ‘Once a free city under the Protection of the League of Nations, the Danzig of yore lives on in the novels of Gunter Grass.’
      • ‘The free city option follows in the tradition of Hong Kong and West Berlin where refugees poured in and found safe haven, even prosperity.’
      • ‘For two years Harding ruled with popular acclaim over what became the free city of Trieste.’