As R. Reagan said, "There you go again."
Freestanding means self-supporting, with the possible exception of pullouts for vestibule(s). In other words, if you pull out the stakes, the tent doesn't fall over or partially collapse on the occupant. In more other words, freestanding tents need stakes to be anchored, but are self-supporting. Non-freestanding tents need stakes not just for anchoring; but also for support. So the distinction is between anchoring and supporting.
Someone, think it was Roger C but he doesn't recall, also said that freestanding means that the tent takes on its full pitched shape without the benefit of stakes. I wouldn't go that far, because a lot of weight can be saved by tying out a vestibule, as opposed to using more poles to support it. Even if you carry only one trekking pole, you can also use it with a stake to support a vestibule and save weight.
FS tents have a real advantage in the Eastern USA in many areas where tent platforms are mandatory, and may or may not have a ring or other fixture on the side to attach a line or pull-out that would otherwise go to a stake. I can't even imagine pitching Z-pack's tent on a platform with it's many supporting stakes, but am sure it can be done, with enough exasperation. Bring yo-ah hammuh 'n nails! I can deal with finding rock solid connections for stakes, branches, rocks or what have you for two, or in high winds maybe even four pull-outs or guy-lines, but that's ENOUGH! I want some protection over me from a frame engineered for strength with poles, especially now that we have the much lighter carbon poles.
Your suggestion that tents supported by many stakes are freestanding is a bit coy. Freestanding tents have some definite advantages - Get over it!