I'm looking for a word (or phrase) for describing a person who acts according to his own will, who does what his heart says, and who does whatever he wants. I tried to search in many (more than 20) dictionaries but found nothing relevant. So, please provide a word or more for describing such a person. Do the following sentences mean what I want?

  • He follows his heart.
  • He follows his mind.
  • He's a happy-go-lucky person.
  • 3
    "free spirit" is the first word came to my mind. Jul 3, 2015 at 16:28
  • I would love to add an answer, but apparently I still need two more +1's to my other answers before I can add it to this question (because it has "high activity").
    – insaner
    Mar 3, 2022 at 22:32

3 Answers 3


There are many words, which emphasize different meaning. Some are negative.

Pleasure aspect of doing whatever you want: bon vivant, hedonist, pleasure seeker.

Going wherever you want, possibly new places (metaphorically too): globetrotter, explorer, pioneer.

Free thought, defiance: maverick, liberal, free thinker, nonconformist.

Disregard for traditional social structures: bohemian, hippie, beatnik.

Disregard for manner and social grace: boor, barbarian, brute, philistine.

Ambition: doer, achiever.

Disregard for law: criminal, outlaw, gangster, robber, lawbreaker, desperado, etc.

Acting in self-interest without regard for trust: back-stabber, snitch, cheater, two-timer.

Acting in self-interest without regard for others: egoist, narcissist.

  • What a detailed and insightful answer! My additions would be: loose cannon, renegade, cowboy. These are used to describe maverick cops in movies. May 18, 2018 at 3:14
  • I think "free spirit" as brought up in the comments fits in the bohemian, hippie, beatnik category.
    – mjjf
    Mar 3, 2021 at 3:54

I think the adjective for this is "capricious"

given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behavior.
"it's terrible to feel our livelihood hinges on a capricious boss" (Lexico)


Great answers already, but missing is "self-determined":


  1. determination by oneself or itself, without outside influence.
  2. freedom to live as one chooses, or to act or decide without consulting another or others.
  3. the determining by the people of the form their government shall have, without reference to the wishes of any other nation, especially by people of a territory or former colony.

Which relates strongly to:


  1. Government.

    a. self-governing; independent; subject to its own laws only.

    b. pertaining to an autonomy, or a self-governing community.

  2. having autonomy; not subject to control from outside; independent

  3. (of a machine, device, etc.) able to operate with little or no human control or intervention:

And as mentioned in the comments:

free spirit

One who is a nonconformist or who does not recognize the authority of others.

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