involuntary

adjective in·vol·un·tary \ (ˌ)in-ˈvä-lən-ˌter-ē , -ˌte-rē \

Definition of involuntary

1 :done contrary to or without choice
3 :not subject to control of the will :reflex

involuntarily

play \(ˌ)in-ˌvä-lən-ˈter-ə-lē, -ˈte-rə-\ adverb

involuntariness

play \(ˌ)in-ˈvä-lən-ˌter-ē-nəs, -ˌte-rē-\ noun

Examples of involuntary in a Sentence

  1. Breathing and circulation are involuntary processes.

  2. When the door burst open, she let out an involuntary shriek.

  3. The lawyer argued that the client's confession was involuntary.

Recent Examples of involuntary from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'involuntary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of involuntary

Middle English involuntari, from Late Latin involuntarius, from Latin in- + voluntarius voluntary


INVOLUNTARY Defined for English Language Learners

involuntary

adjective

Definition of involuntary for English Language Learners

  • : not done or made consciously

  • : not done by choice


INVOLUNTARY Defined for Kids

involuntary

adjective in·vol·un·tary \ in-ˈvä-lən-ˌter-ē \

Definition of involuntary for Students

1 :not done consciously
  • an involuntary whimper
2 :not done by choice
  • involuntary labor

involuntarily

\ˌin-ˌvä-lən-ˈter-ə-lē\ adverb

Medical Dictionary

involuntary

adjective in·vol·un·tary \ (ˈ)in-ˈväl-ən-ˌter-ē \

medical Definition of involuntary

:not subject to control of the will :reflex
  • involuntary contractions

Law Dictionary

involuntary

adjective in·vol·un·tary \ in-ˈvä-lən-ˌter-ē \

legal Definition of involuntary

:done, made, or initiated contrary to or without one's choice
  • an involuntary confession
  • an involuntary lien
  • an involuntary plaintiff joined in the action

involuntarily

adverb


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