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[voh-lish-uh n, vuh-] /voʊˈlɪʃ ən, və-/
the act of willing, choosing, or resolving; exercise of willing:
She left of her own volition.
a choice or decision made by the will.
the power of willing; will.
Origin of volition
1605-15; < Medieval Latin volitiōn- (stem of volitiō), equivalent to vol- (variant stem of velle to want, wish; see will1) + -itiōn- -ition
Related forms
volitional, volitionary
[voh-lish-uh-ner-ee] /voʊˈlɪʃ əˌnɛr i/ (Show IPA),
volitionally, adverb
nonvolition, noun
nonvolitional, adjective
prevolitional, adjective
supervolition, noun
unvolitional, adjective
1. discretion, choice. See will2 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for volition
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Her voice had dropped almost to a whisper, and her arm, apparently of its own volition, had found its way to my neck.

    Neighbours Robert Stead
  • The dove did not bring the olive branch of her own volition.

  • An act of volition produces motion in our limbs, or raises a new idea in our imagination.

  • He had resigned; but no resignation had ever appeared to have less of volition in it.

    The Bertrams Anthony Trollope
  • Wings have always been the symbol or attribute of volition, of mind, or of the spirit or air.

British Dictionary definitions for volition


the act of exercising the will: of one's own volition
the faculty or capability of conscious choice, decision, and intention; the will
the resulting choice or resolution
(philosophy) an act of will as distinguished from the physical movement it intends to bring about
Derived Forms
volitional, volitionary, adjective
volitionally, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin volitiō, from Latin vol- as in volō I will, present stem of velle to wish
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for volition

1610s, from French volition (16c.), from Medieval Latin volitionem (nominative volitio) "will, volition," from Latin stem (as in volo "I wish") of velle "to wish," from PIE *wel-/*wol- "be pleasing" (see will (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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volition in Medicine

volition vo·li·tion (və-lĭsh'ən)

  1. The act or an instance of making a conscious choice or decision.

  2. A conscious choice or decision.

  3. The power or faculty of choosing; the will.

vo·li'tion·al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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