[voh-lish-uhn, vuh-]
  1. the act of willing, choosing, or resolving; exercise of willing: She left of her own volition.
  2. a choice or decision made by the will.
  3. 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 formsvo·li·tion·al, vo·li·tion·ar·y [voh-lish-uh-ner-ee] /voʊˈlɪʃ əˌnɛr i/, adjectivevo·li·tion·al·ly, adverbnon·vo·li·tion, nounnon·vo·li·tion·al, adjectivepre·vo·li·tion·al, adjectivesu·per·vo·li·tion, nounun·vo·li·tion·al, adjective

Synonyms for volition

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for volitionary


  1. the act of exercising the willof one's own volition
  2. the faculty or capability of conscious choice, decision, and intention; the will
  3. the resulting choice or resolution
  4. philosophy an act of will as distinguished from the physical movement it intends to bring about
Derived Formsvolitional or volitionary, adjectivevolitionally, adverb

Word Origin for volition

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

Word Origin and History for volitionary



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

volitionary in Medicine


  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.
Related formsvo•lition•al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.