voluntary

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

Definition of voluntary 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : proceeding from the will or from one's own choice or consent

2 : unconstrained by interference : self-determining

3 : done by design or intention : intentional voluntary manslaughter

4 : of, relating to, subject to, or regulated by the will voluntary behavior

5 : having power of free choice

6 : provided or supported by voluntary action

7 : acting or done of one's own free will without valuable consideration or legal obligation

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

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Other Words from voluntary

Adjective

voluntarily adverb
voluntariness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for voluntary

Synonyms: Adjective

conscious, deliberate, intended, intentional, knowing, purposeful, purposive, set, willed, willful (or wilful), witting

Antonyms: Adjective

nondeliberate, nonpurposive, unintentional

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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

Adjective

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.

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 the end, Johan was granted a voluntary departure order that would allow the government to fly him to Honduras so that he could be reunited with his family. Astrid Galvan, Houston Chronicle, "Kids as young as 1 in US court, awaiting reunion with family," 9 July 2018 Johan was granted a voluntary departure order so that he could be reunited with his family in Honduras, the AP said. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "1-Year-Old Boy Separated from Family Cries As He Faces Arizona Immigration Judge: Report," 9 July 2018 In the end, Johan was granted a voluntary departure order that would allow the government to fly him to Honduras so that he could be reunited with his family. Anchorage Daily News, "Kids as young as 1 in US court, awaiting reunion with family," 8 July 2018 In the end, Johan was granted a voluntary departure order that would allow the government to fly him to Honduras so that he could be reunited with his family. Astrid Galvan, azcentral, "Migrant family separations: Children as young as 1 year old in U.S. court, awaiting reunion," 7 July 2018 He was granted a voluntary departure order from an immigration judge in 2010, but did not leave. Liz Robbins, New York Times, "He Delivered Pizza to an Army Base in Brooklyn. Now He Faces Deportation.," 6 June 2018 The Observer itself has reported on the story of Gus Zamudio, who wasn’t even convicted but still forced to leave under a voluntary order. charlotteobserver, "Mecklenburg County commissioner candidates: Where they stand on key issues | Charlotte Observer," 18 Apr. 2018 Police said the 14-year-old alleged shooter was charged with voluntary manslaughter and armed criminal action. Tony Rizzo, kansascity, "14-year-old charged in fatal shooting; drugs found at scene land woman in jail," 13 July 2018 He was acquitted in May 2015 of voluntary manslaughter. Evan Macdonald, cleveland.com, "Deadly 2012 chase: Cleveland cops ask for review of offer to drop charges in exchange for money," 12 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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, "Mellinger Minutes: Royals surging, Royals trading (?), Kyle Zimmer and Pat Mahomes," 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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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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Phrases Related to voluntary

voluntary worker

Statistics for voluntary

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for voluntary

The first known use of voluntary was in the 14th century

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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 \

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

voluntary

adjective
vol·un·tary | \ˈväl-ən-ˌter-ē \

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

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voluntary

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

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

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Comments on voluntary

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exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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