vol·​un·​ta·​rism | \ˈvä-lən-tə-ˌri-zəm \

Definition of voluntarism 

1 : the principle or system of doing something by or relying on voluntary action or volunteers

2 : a theory that conceives will to be the dominant factor in experience or in the world

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Other Words from voluntarism

voluntarist \ˈvä-​lən-​tə-​rist \ noun
voluntaristic \ˌvä-​lən-​tə-​ˈris-​tik \ adjective

Examples of voluntarism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Christian churches have historically been crucibles of leadership, voluntarism, and action for progressive social movements, from abolitionism to civil rights. Hahrie Han, The New Republic, "Building a Bigger Tent," 11 Apr. 2018

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

First Known Use of voluntarism

1838, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of voluntarism was in 1838

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More from Merriam-Webster on voluntarism

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about voluntarism

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a nest or breeding place

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