- done, made, brought about, undertaken, etc., of one's own accord or by free choice: a voluntary contribution.
- of, relating to, or acting in accord with the will: voluntary cooperation.
- of, relating to, or depending on voluntary action: voluntary hospitals.
- acting or done without compulsion or obligation.
- done by intention, and not by accident: voluntary manslaughter.
- made without valuable consideration: a voluntary settlement.
- Physiology. subject to or controlled by the will.
- having the power of willing or choosing: a voluntary agent.
- proceeding from a natural impulse; spontaneous: voluntary laughter.
- something done voluntarily.
- a piece of music, frequently spontaneous and improvised, performed as a prelude to a larger work, especially a piece of organ music performed before, during, or after an office of the church.
Origin of voluntary
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for voluntary
Our world is in so many ways more based on voluntary exchange than ever before.Relax—Both Parties Are Going Extinct
November 4, 2014
The Non-GMO Project, on the other hand, provides a voluntary way for manufacturers to declare themselves GMO free.Whole Foods' Anti-GMO Swindle
September 15, 2014
Certification is voluntary only insofar as work as a physician is voluntary.Rand Paul and the Certification Racket
August 11, 2014
UNRWA is funded by voluntary contributions, but Arab and predominantly Islamic nations are rarely among the top donors.War of Words Between Israel and UN Continues
August 10, 2014
White had been convicted of voluntary manslaughter, the lightest possible sentence for his crime.Castro Street’s Hot Cop Is the Batman to Sexy Mug Shot Guy’s Joker
July 9, 2014
For what is meant by liberty, when applied to voluntary actions?
In so far as actions are voluntary, the doctrine is self-evident.Shelley, Godwin and Their Circle
H. N. Brailsford
A sick bed's a hard place for one who has no kind and voluntary attention.The Elm Tree Tales
F. Irene Burge Smith
Some actions are intermediate between the voluntary and involuntary.
Homicides may be divided into voluntary and involuntary: and first of involuntary homicide.
- performed, undertaken, or brought about by free choice, willingly, or without being askeda voluntary donation
- (of persons) serving or acting in a specified function of one's own accord and without compulsion or promise of remunerationa voluntary social worker
- done by, composed of, or functioning with the aid of volunteersa voluntary association
- endowed with, exercising, or having the faculty of willinga voluntary agent
- arising from natural impulse; spontaneousvoluntary laughter
- acting or done without legal obligation, compulsion, or persuasion
- made without payment or recompense in any forma voluntary conveyance
- (of the muscles of the limbs, neck, etc) having their action controlled by the will
- maintained or provided by the voluntary actions or contributions of individuals and not by the statevoluntary schools; the voluntary system
- music a composition or improvisation, usually for organ, played at the beginning or end of a church service
- work done without compulsion
- obsolete a volunteer, esp in an army
Word Origin and History for voluntary
late 14c. (implied in voluntarily), from Latin voluntarius "of one's free will," from voluntas "will," from the ancient accusative singular present participle of velle "to wish" (see will (v.)). Originally of feelings, later also of actions (mid-15c.).
- Arising from or acting on one's own free will.
- Normally controlled by or subject to individual volition, as of respiration.
- Capable of making choices; having the faculty of will.