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.

Nearby words

  1. volumetric solution,
  2. voluminous,
  3. volund,
  4. voluntarily,
  5. voluntarism,
  6. voluntary abortion,
  7. voluntary aid detachment,
  8. voluntary arrangement,
  9. voluntary association,
  10. voluntary muscle

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 Formsvoluntarily, 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

Word Origin and History for voluntary

voluntary

adj.

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.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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.