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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Generally, software falls into four categories: shareware, freeware, public domain and commercial.

n. (context computing English) complete and functional software that does not require payment or other compensation (such as nags or advertising) for its use. Freeware may be a proprietary license with no access to the source code.


n. software that is provided without charge


Freeware is proprietary software that is available for use at no monetary cost. In other words, freeware may be used without payment but may usually not be modified, re-distributed or reverse-engineered without the author's permission. Two historic examples of freeware include Skype and Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Freeware, although itself free of charge, may be intended to benefit its owner, e.g. by encouraging sales of a more capable version (" Freemium" or Shareware business model). The source code of freeware is typically not available, unlike free software and open source software which are often distributed free of charge.

Usage examples of "freeware".

E-mail applications are available as freeware and are included in all browsers.

Freeware correlators swooped in from the surrounding webscape begging for permission to fetch data for me about this tragic event.

Because Linux is freeware, it doesn't offer device drivers for all the latest hardware.