voluntary

adjective
vol·​un·​tary | \ ˈvä-lən-ˌter-ē How to pronounce voluntary (audio) \

Definition of voluntary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : proceeding from the will or from one's own choice or consent a voluntary action voluntary cooperation
2 : unconstrained by interference : self-determining a voluntary participant
3 law
a : done by design or intention : intentional was convicted of voluntary manslaughter
b : acting or done of one's own free will without valuable consideration or legal obligation a voluntary conveyance
4 : of, relating to, subject to, or regulated by the will voluntary muscle movements voluntary behavior
5 : having power of free choice a voluntary agent
6 : provided or supported by voluntary action a voluntary institution/organization

voluntary

noun
plural voluntaries

Definition of voluntary (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a prefatory often extemporized musical piece
b : an improvisatory organ piece played before, during, or after a religious service
2 : one who participates voluntarily

Other Words from voluntary

Adjective

voluntarily adverb
voluntariness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for voluntary

Adjective

voluntary, intentional, deliberate, willing mean done or brought about of one's own will. voluntary implies freedom and spontaneity of choice or action without external compulsion. a voluntary confession intentional stresses an awareness of an end to be achieved. the intentional concealment of vital information deliberate implies full consciousness of the nature of one's act and its consequences. deliberate acts of sabotage willing implies a readiness and eagerness to accede to or anticipate the wishes of another. willing obedience

Examples of voluntary in a Sentence

Adjective Participation in the program is completely voluntary. He was charged with voluntary manslaughter. the voluntary muscles that control urination
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In May, the state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation sent dispensaries notice of a voluntary recall of Verano’s Mag Landrace flower due to possible mold contamination. Robert Mccoppin, chicagotribune.com, 1 Jan. 2022 Two voluntary recall reports were filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with Tesla stores and service centers notified last week of the recalls. Jennifer Korn, CNN, 30 Dec. 2021 Procter & Gamble has announced the voluntary recall of numerous dry shampoos and dry conditioners from several of its brands following tests that revealed the presence of benzene. Marci Robin, Allure, 22 Dec. 2021 Procter & Gamble has issued a voluntary recall for more than 30 products after traces of cancer-causing agent benzene was detected in a number of goods, the company announced in a release Monday. Charmaine Patterson, PEOPLE.com, 20 Dec. 2021 Procter & Gamble has issued a voluntary recall of nearly three dozen aerosol hair products after benzene was found in them. Doha Madani, NBC News, 20 Dec. 2021 Proctor & Gamble issued a voluntary recall of more than 30 aerosol spray products, including dry shampoo and dry conditioner, due to concern over the levels of benzene, a chemical known to cause cancer. Bailey Schulz, USA TODAY, 19 Dec. 2021 Gilead recently announced a voluntary nationwide recall of two lots of Veklury. Chris Smith, BGR, 8 Dec. 2021 An independent lab has asked the FDA to take action, while one manufacturer has issued a voluntary recall. Korin Miller, Health.com, 3 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Virginia enacted legislation in 2021 to establish an auto-IRA savings program and the New York state legislature has passed legislation that would amend their law to switch from a voluntary to a mandatory auto-IRA program statewide. Dan Doonan, Forbes, 1 Sep. 2021 Danario Green was optimistic about returning to work as a JetBlue flight attendant after taking a five-month voluntary leave earlier in the pandemic. Natalie B. Compton, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Nov. 2020 The actual number of layoffs and furloughs may decrease for both American and United before Oct. 1 because of union agreements and other voluntary buyout negotiations, according to company memos. Anna Kramer, SFChronicle.com, 4 Aug. 2020 For players, that means a certain level of accomplishment or desire for a new contract can be reason to skip the voluntaries. Sam Mellinger, kansascity.com, 20 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'voluntary.' 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 voluntary

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Noun

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for voluntary

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French voluntarie, from Latin voluntarius, from voluntas will, from velle to will, wish — more at will

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Time Traveler for voluntary

Time Traveler

The first known use of voluntary was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near voluntary

voluntarism

voluntary

voluntary affidavit

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for voluntary

Last Updated

28 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Voluntary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/voluntary. Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for voluntary

voluntary

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of voluntary

: done or given because you want to and not because you are forced to : done or given by choice
: provided or supported by people who do work without being paid
: doing work without being paid

voluntary

adjective
vol·​un·​tary | \ ˈvä-lən-ˌter-ē How to pronounce voluntary (audio) \

Kids Definition of voluntary

1 : done, given, or acting of free choice a voluntary confession a voluntary participant
2 : done or acting with no expectation of payment a voluntary job
3 : relating to or controlled by the will voluntary muscle movements

Other Words from voluntary

voluntarily \ ˌvä-​lən-​ˈter-​ə-​lē \ adverb participate voluntarily

Choose the Right Synonym for voluntary

voluntary, intentional, and deliberate mean done or brought about by choice. voluntary is used of an act that results from freedom of will. Joining the club is voluntary. It can also be used of an act that is controlled by the will. Blinking the eyes can be a voluntary movement. intentional is used of something that is done for a reason and only after some thought. Her neglect of the task was intentional. deliberate is used of an act that is done purposefully and with full understanding of the likely results. It was a deliberate insult.

voluntary

adjective
vol·​un·​tary | \ ˈväl-ən-ˌter-ē How to pronounce voluntary (audio) \

Medical Definition of voluntary

1 : proceeding from the will or from one's own choice or consent
2 : of, relating to, subject to, or regulated by the will voluntary behavior

Other Words from voluntary

voluntarily adverb

voluntary

adjective
vol·​un·​tary | \ ˈvä-lən-ˌter-ē How to pronounce voluntary (audio) \

Legal Definition of voluntary

1a : proceeding from one's own free choice or consent rather than as the result of duress, coercion, or deception a voluntary statement
b : not compelled by law : done as a matter of choice or agreement voluntary arbitration
c : made freely and with an understanding of the consequences a voluntary plea of guilty
2 : done by design or intention
3 : made without valuable consideration or for nominal consideration a voluntary conveyance

Other Words from voluntary

voluntarily \ ˌvä-​lən-​ˈter-​ə-​lē \ adverb
voluntariness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on voluntary

Nglish: Translation of voluntary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of voluntary for Arabic Speakers

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