[vol-uh n-teer-iz-uh m]


the policy or practice of volunteering one's time or talents for charitable, educational, or other worthwhile activities, especially in one's community.

Nearby words

  1. voluntaryism,
  2. volunteer,
  3. volunteer army,
  4. volunteer bureau,
  5. volunteer state,
  6. volunteers in service to america,
  7. volunteers of america,
  8. voluntourism,
  9. voluptuary,
  10. voluptuous

Origin of volunteerism

First recorded in 1835–45; volunteer + -ism

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for volunteerism

British Dictionary definitions for volunteerism



the principle of donating time and energy for the benefit of other people in the community as a social responsibility rather than for any financial reward
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 volunteerism



1844, with reference to armed forces; from volunteer + -ism. In reference to volunteer labor in community activities, by 1977.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper