She managed to wriggle free. https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/wriggle_1?q=Wriggle

Oxford English Dictionary registers "free" to be used as an adjective, but Macmillan dictionary says it is used as an adverb when used with "wriggle" in the sentence.

Whose perspective is correct or more rational? Personally, I'd vote for OED, because "free" has to be modifying "she" in order to portrait her state free of something, it just doesn't quite make sense if it's modifying "wriggle" The same rule seems to go with these expressions "think different, walk free, come out free" as well.

To me, even they all look more like "adjective".


The phrase "she wriggle free" can be expanded to "she wriggled in such a way as to become free". I would agree that in this particular phrase, "free" is an adjective to describe "she".

On the other hand, "walk free" would be expanded as "walk in a free manner", which indicates that "free" is an adverb in this context.

The context matters. "Wriggle free" can be interpreted as an adverb, but the meaning would change in this case to be "nothing is impeding her wriggling movement". This would be a very unusual use of the phrase, and would definitely not be idiomatic, although it is still grammatically correct.

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