• WordNet 3.6
    • adj voluntary 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"
    • adj voluntary controlled by individual volition "voluntary motions","voluntary muscles"
    • n voluntary composition (often improvised) for a solo instrument (especially solo organ) and not a regular part of a religious service or musical performance
    • n voluntary (military) a person who freely enlists for service
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Voluntary (Mus) A piece played by a musician, often extemporarily, according to his fancy; specifically, an organ solo played before, during, or after divine service.
    • Voluntary 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.
    • Voluntary 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."
    • Voluntary (Law) Free; without compulsion; according to the will, consent, or agreement, of a party; without consideration; gratuitous; without valuable consideration.
    • Voluntary (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.
    • Voluntary (Eccl) Of or pertaining to voluntaryism; as, a voluntary church, in distinction from an established or state church.
    • Voluntary (Eccl) One who advocates voluntaryism.
    • Voluntary One who engages in any affair of his own free will; a volunteer.
    • Voluntary 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."
    • Voluntary 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.""She fell to lust a voluntary prey."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • voluntary Proceeding from the will: done of or due to one's own accord or free choice; unconstrained by external interference, force, or influence; not compelled, prompted, or suggested by another; spontaneous; of one's or its own accord; free.
    • voluntary Subject to or controlled by the will; regulated by the will: as, the movement, of a limb is voluntary, the action of the heart involuntary.
    • voluntary Done by design or intention; intentional; purposed; not accidental.
    • voluntary Endowed with the power of willing, or acting of one's own free will or choice, or according to one's judgment.
    • voluntary Of, pertaining, or relating to voluntaryism, or the doctrines of the voluntaries: as, the voluntary theory or controversy.
    • voluntary In law: Proceeding from the free and unconstrained will of the person: as, a voluntary confession.
    • voluntary Not supported by a substantial pecuniary or valuable consideration. See voluntary conveyance, below
    • voluntary An affidavit offered spontaneously or made freely, without the compulsion of subpoena or other process.
    • n voluntary One who engages in any affair of his own choice or free will; a volunteer.
    • n voluntary Specifically Eccles., in Great. Britain, one who maintains the doctrine of the mutual independence of the church and the state, and holds that the church should be supported by the voluntary contributions of its members and should be left entirely free to regulate its affairs.
    • n voluntary Any work or performance not imposed by another.
    • n voluntary In church music, an organ prelude to a service; sometimes, by extension, an interlude or postlude; also, an anthem or other piece of choir-music, especially at the opening of a service. These uses of the word seem to have originated in the fact that such musical exercises are not rubrically prescribed.
    • voluntary Voluntarily.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Voluntary vol′un-ta-ri willing: acting by choice: free: proceeding from the will: subject to the will: done by design or without compulsion: of or pertaining to voluntaryism
    • n Voluntary one who does anything of his own free-will: a piece of music played at will: an upholder of voluntaryism
    • ***


  • William Hazlitt
    “They are the only honest hypocrites, their life is a voluntary dream, a studied madness.”
  • Seneca
    “Drunkenness is nothing but voluntary madness.”
  • William James
    “Thus the sovereign voluntary path to cheerfulness, if cheerfulness be lost, is to sit up cheerfully and to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there.”
  • Blaise Pascal
    “Desire and force between them are responsible for all our actions; desire causes our voluntary acts, force our involuntary.”
  • Nicholas Ling
    Nicholas Ling
    “Ignorance is a voluntary misfortune.”
  • Jane Austen
    “Every man is surrounded by a neighborhood of voluntary spies.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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 (v. t.), and cf. Benevolent Volition Volunteer


In literature:

The House is supported partly by voluntary contributions and partly by the labor of its inmates.
"Lights and Shadows of New York Life" by James D. McCabe
Ahala was brought to trial, and only escaped condemnation by a voluntary exile.
"A Smaller History of Rome" by William Smith and Eugene Lawrence
On Good Friday afternoon we had a voluntary service in front of the Town Hall.
"The Great War As I Saw It" by Frederick George Scott
All voluntary movements are at first accomplished relatively slowly and with difficulty.
"Voice Production in Singing and Speaking" by Wesley Mills
It is the voluntary flow of companies of individual emigrants seeking to better the fortunes of themselves or their families.
"A History of American Christianity" by Leonard Woolsey Bacon
For loue is a voluntarie thing, and euery man loueth what he list.
"The Palace of Pleasure, Volume 1" by William Painter
What is the difference between a voluntary association, such as a society or club, and a stock company?
"Up To Date Business" by Various
Therefore, if the experiment succeeded, it would have to be followed by another in which no voluntary options were granted.
"Integration of the Armed Forces, 1940-1965" by Morris J. MacGregor Jr.
There is a wonderful complementary duality between the voluntary and the sympathetic activity on the same plane.
"Fantasia of the Unconscious" by D. H. Lawrence
The President came to be of the firm opinion that emigration must be voluntary and without expense to those who went.
"The Journal of Negro History, Volume 4, 1919" by Various

In poetry:

I love to tread the solitudes,
The forests and the trackless woods,
Where nature, undisturbed by man,
Pursues her voluntary plan.
"Nature's Child." by Alfred Castner King
'Farewell, you span of open wings outspread,
The voluntary obstinacy of flight,
O figure of the world revealed in speech,
Creative genius, wonder-working might!'
"August" by Boris Pasternak
Who dares it, throws his life into the scale,
Redemption's voluntary sacrifice:
His hope—to be a martyr, should he fail,
Or, at the best, to conquer—as he dies!
"A Prisoner's Night-Thought" by Ernest Jones
Attendant on the genial hours,
The voluntary shades and flowers
For rural lovers spring;
Wild choirs unseen in concert join,
And round Apollo's rustic shrine
The sylvan muses sing.
"Ode to a Man of Letters" by John Logan
How wise! long pamper'd with applause,
To make a voluntary pause
And lay his laurels down! Boldly repelling each strong claim,
To dare assert to Wealth and Fame,
"Enough of both I've known."
"Ode To Dragon" by Hannah More
Who is that King, but He
Who call'st His crown to be called thine,
That thus can boast to be
Waited on by a wand'ring mine,
A voluntary mint, that strows
Warm silver showers where'er He goes!
"Saint Mar Magdelene; or, The Weeper" by Richard Crashaw

In news:

Convey the significance of voluntary benefits while educating staff on core offerings.
America should think again before pressing ahead with the legalization of physician-assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia.
The debate over physician-assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia will soon reach its most important stage in this country.
FDA's New Rules on Factory Farm Antibiotics Are Flawed—and Voluntary.
Drugmakers Now Required to Provide Voluntary CME for Physicians.
BENTON, AR – Although rain is in the forecast for later this weekend, expected heat today is prompting a call for continued voluntary conservation.
Had there not been a lockout, the Dallas Cowboys would have started voluntary workouts today at Valley Ranch, according to ESPNDallas.com.
Ignore whether the currently voluntary system should be mandatory.
Mindray DS Initiates Voluntary Recall Affecting Anesthesia Delivery System.
Mindray DS USA, Inc has initiated a voluntary recall affecting the A3/A5 Anesthesia Delivery System.
FDA Asks for Voluntary Recall of Popular Generic Antidepressant .
Smith said a voluntary buyout program announced in August should reduce "fixed head count by several thousand people".
"It's totally voluntary," he added.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is instituting a voluntary emergency curfew for the residents living in the.
A voluntary recall has been issued for 38-hundred.

In science:

The essential achievement of the wil l, in short, when it is most ‘voluntary,’ is to attend to a difficult object and hold it fast before the mind.
Quantum theory and the role of mind in nature
It is also highly improbable that, by forming more or less voluntary the initial conditions, we can observe that the system becomes ordered by itself.
Geometry of irreversibility: The film of nonequilibrium states
Initial conditions in the subsystems are independent from one sub-system to another, and they cannot be assigned completely voluntary but are taken from some distribution with a fixed sum of mean values (an analog of the macroscopic definability of ensembles).
Geometry of irreversibility: The film of nonequilibrium states
Note also that “genuinely voluntary exchange” is listed only at rank 5 and behind “exchange coerced by unequal power”.
Emergent Statistical Wealth Distributions in Simple Monetary Exchange Models: A Critical Review
However, despite being mentioned in the list of mechanisms of redistribution, voluntary exchange is not really considered in Angle’s model in which an agent simply takes away part of the belongings of another.
Emergent Statistical Wealth Distributions in Simple Monetary Exchange Models: A Critical Review