• synonyms


[vol-uh n-teer-iz-uh m]
  1. voluntarism(def 2).
  2. the policy or practice of volunteering one's time or talents for charitable, educational, or other worthwhile activities, especially in one's community.
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Origin of volunteerism

First recorded in 1835–45; volunteer + -ism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples of volunteerism

British Dictionary definitions for volunteerism


  1. 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
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper