voluntary

[ vol-uhn-ter-ee ]
/ ˈvɒl ənˌtɛr i /

adjective

noun, plural vol·un·tar·ies.

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

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin voluntārius, equivalent to volunt(ās) willingness, inclination (ultimately representing a formation with -tās -ty2 on the present participle of velle to want, wish; see will1, -ent) + -ārius -ary

Related forms

Synonym study

1. See deliberate. 7. Voluntary, spontaneous agree in applying to something that is a natural outgrowth or natural expression arising from circumstances and conditions. Voluntary implies having given previous consideration, or having exercised judgment: a voluntary confession; a voluntary movement; The offer was a voluntary one. Something that is spontaneous arises as if by itself from the nature of the circumstances or condition: spontaneous applause, combustion, expression of admiration.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for voluntary

British Dictionary definitions for voluntary

voluntary

/ (ˈvɒləntərɪ, -trɪ) /

adjective


noun plural -taries

Derived Forms

voluntarily, adverbvoluntariness, noun

Word Origin for voluntary

C14: from Latin voluntārius, from voluntās will, from 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

Medicine definitions for voluntary

voluntary

[ vŏlən-tĕr′ē ]

adj.

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.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.