3 definitions found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Voluntary \Vol"un*ta*ry\, adjective [L. voluntarius, fr. voluntas will, choice, from the root of velle to will, p. pr. volens; akin to E. will: cf. F. volontaire, Of. also voluntaire. See {Will}, verb (used with an object), and cf. {Benevolent}, {Volition}, {Volunteer}.]

1. Proceeding from the will; produced in or by an act of choice.

That sin or guilt pertains exclusively to voluntary action is the true principle of orthodoxy. --N. W. Taylor.

2. Unconstrained by the interference of another; unimpelled by the influence of another; not prompted or persuaded by another; done of his or its own accord; spontaneous; acting of one's self, or of itself; free.

Our voluntary service he requires. --Milton.

She fell to lust a voluntary prey. --Pope.

3. Done by design or intention; intentional; purposed; intended; not accidental; as, if a man kills another by lopping a tree, it is not voluntary manslaughter.

4. (Physiol.) Of or pertaining to the will; subject to, or regulated by, the will; as, the voluntary motions of an animal, such as the movements of the leg or arm (in distinction from involuntary motions, such as the movements of the heart); the voluntary muscle fibers, which are the agents in voluntary motion.

5. Endowed with the power of willing; as, man is a voluntary agent.

God did not work as a necessary, but a voluntary, agent, intending beforehand, and decreeing with himself, that which did outwardly proceed from him. --Hooker.

6. (Law) Free; without compulsion; according to the will, consent, or agreement, of a party; without consideration; gratuitous; without valuable consideration.

7. (Eccl.) Of or pertaining to voluntaryism; as, a voluntary church, in distinction from an established or state church.

{Voluntary affidavit} or {Voluntary oath} (Law), an affidavit or oath made in an extrajudicial matter.

{Voluntary conveyance} (Law), a conveyance without valuable consideration.

{Voluntary escape} (Law), the escape of a prisoner by the express consent of the sheriff.

{Voluntary jurisdiction}. (Eng. Eccl. Law) See {Contentious jurisdiction}, under {Contentious}.

{Voluntary waste}. (Law) See {Waste}, noun, 4.

Syn: See {Spontaneous}.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Voluntary \Vol"un*ta*ry\, noun; pl. {Voluntaries}.

1. One who engages in any affair of his own free will; a volunteer. [R.] --Shak.

2. (Mus.) A piece played by a musician, often extemporarily, according to his fancy; specifically, an organ solo played before, during, or after divine service.

3. (Eccl.) One who advocates voluntaryism.

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:



1: of your own free will or design; done by choice; not forced or compelled; "man is a voluntary agent"; "participation was voluntary"; "voluntary manslaughter"; "voluntary generosity in times of disaster"; "voluntary social workers"; "a voluntary confession" [ant: {involuntary}, {nonvoluntary}, {unvoluntary}]

2: controlled by individual volition; "voluntary motions"; "voluntary muscles" [ant: {involuntary}]


1: (military) a person who freely enlists for service [syn: {volunteer}, {military volunteer}, {voluntary}] [ant: {conscript}, {draftee}, {inductee}]

2: composition (often improvised) for a solo instrument (especially solo organ) and not a regular part of a religious service or musical performance

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015 4:11:59 AM Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)