Origin of volunteer

1590–1600; < French volontaire < Latin voluntārius voluntary, with -eer for French -aire
Related formspre·vol·un·teer, noun, verbun·vol·un·teer·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for volunteer

British Dictionary definitions for volunteer

volunteer

/ (ˌvɒlənˈtɪə) /

noun

  1. a person who performs or offers to perform voluntary service
  2. (as modifier)a volunteer system; volunteer advice
a person who freely undertakes military service, esp temporary or special service
law
  1. a person who does some act or enters into a transaction without being under any legal obligation to do so and without being promised any remuneration for his services
  2. property law a person to whom property is transferred without his giving any valuable consideration in return, as a legatee under a will
  1. a plant that grows from seed that has not been deliberately sown
  2. (as modifier)a volunteer plant

verb

Word Origin for volunteer

C17: from French volontaire, from Latin voluntārius willing; see voluntary
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 volunteer

volunteer


n.

c.1600, "one who offers himself for military service," from Middle French voluntaire, noun use of adj. meaning "voluntary," from Latin voluntarius "voluntary, of one's free will" (see voluntary). Non-military sense is first recorded 1630s. The verb is first recorded 1755, from the noun. Tennessee has been the Volunteer State since the Mexican War, when a call for 2,800 volunteers brought out 30,000 men.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper