volition

noun
vo·​li·​tion | \ vō-ˈli-shən How to pronounce volition (audio) , və- \

Definition of volition

1 : the power of choosing or determining : will
2 : an act of making a choice or decision also : a choice or decision made

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Other Words from volition

volitional \ vō-​ˈlish-​nəl How to pronounce volitional (audio) , -​ˈli-​shə-​nᵊl , və-​ \ adjective

Did You Know?

Volition ultimately derives from the Latin verb velle, meaning "to will" or "to wish." (The adjective "voluntary" descends from the same source.) English speakers borrowed the term from French in the 17th century, using it at first to mean "an act of choosing." Its earliest known English use appeared in Thomas Jackson's 1615 Commentaries upon the Apostle's Creed: "That such acts, again, as they appropriate to the will, and call volitions, are essentially and formally intellections, is most evident." The second sense of volition, meaning "the power to choose," had developed by the mid-18th century.

Examples of volition in a Sentence

Tourette's syndrome is a neurological disorder marked by recurrent tics and vocalizations that are beyond the sufferer's volition or control. left the church of her own volition, not because she was excommunicated
Recent Examples on the Web And if a subordinate does so of his own volition, that subordinate ought to be punished. Luke Thompson, National Review, "Why Trump Did Nothing Wrong in His Phone Call with Zelensky," 29 Sep. 2019 His killer did so of his own volition and for his own reason. Josiah Bates, Time, "Four Years After 9-Year-Old Tyshawn Lee Was Shot and Killed in a 'Targeted Execution,' Two Men Face Murder Charges. Here’s What To Know About the Trial," 23 Sep. 2019 Let the day come when prison wardens, on their own volition, in the name of simple human decency and dignity, reach out to ministers and schedule the appointments. WSJ, "Even Prisoners Should Have Religious Support at Death," 19 Apr. 2019 His killer did so of his own volition and for his own reason. Fox News, "Chicago jury convicts gangbanger who executed 9-year-old in revenge killing," 4 Oct. 2019 Goodwin eventually walked off the field of his own volition. Maria Torres, Los Angeles Times, "Angels’ Brian Goodwin has had a strong season. Could he be their next right fielder?," 27 Sep. 2019 His killer did so of his own volition and for his own reason. Josiah Bates, Time, "Four Years After 9-Year-Old Tyshawn Lee Was Shot and Killed in a 'Targeted Execution,' Two Men Face Murder Charges. Here’s What To Know About the Trial," 23 Sep. 2019 His killer did so of his own volition and for his own reason. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Trial of 2 underway in 2015 murder of 9-year-old Chicago boy," 17 Sep. 2019 His killer did so of his own volition and for his own reason, not at the behest or help of Corey Morgan. Ray Sanchez, CNN, "Tyshawn Lee, 9, killed in 'murderous rage' by gang members bent on revenge, prosecutor says," 17 Sep. 2019

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

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First Known Use of volition

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for volition

French, from Medieval Latin volition-, volitio, from Latin vol- (stem of velle to will, wish) + -ition-, -itio (as in Latin position-, positio position) — more at will

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Time Traveler for volition

Time Traveler

The first known use of volition was in 1605

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Statistics for volition

Last Updated

26 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Volition.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/volition. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for volition

volition

noun
How to pronounce volition (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of volition

formal : the power to make your own choices or decisions

volition

noun
vo·​li·​tion | \ vō-ˈli-shən How to pronounce volition (audio) \

Kids Definition of volition

: the act or power of making choices or decisions without being influenced by other people : will I chose to go on my own volition.

volition

noun
vo·​li·​tion | \ vō-ˈlish-ən, və- How to pronounce volition (audio) \

Medical Definition of volition

1 : an act of making a choice or decision also : a choice or decision made
2 : the power of choosing or determining

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Comments on volition

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