volunteer

noun
vol·​un·​teer | \ ˌvä-lən-ˈtir How to pronounce volunteer (audio) \

Definition of volunteer

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service: such as
a : one who enters into military service voluntarily
b(1) : one who renders a service or takes part in a transaction while having no legal concern or interest
(2) : one who receives a conveyance or transfer of property without giving valuable consideration
2 : a volunteer plant
3 capitalized [Volunteers of America] : a member of a quasi-military religious and philanthropic organization founded in 1896 by Commander and Mrs. Ballington Booth

volunteer

verb
volunteered; volunteering; volunteers

Definition of volunteer (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to offer oneself as a volunteer volunteered to host the meeting

transitive verb

: to offer or bestow voluntarily volunteer one's services

volunteer

adjective

Definition of volunteer (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : being, consisting of, or engaged in by volunteers a volunteer army busy with volunteer activities
2 : growing spontaneously without direct human control or supervision especially from seeds lost from a previous crop volunteer corn plants

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Examples of volunteer in a Sentence

Noun Volunteers are needed to help with the bake sale. The school was built by volunteers. Verb Our son volunteered for military service. He would not volunteer any information about her whereabouts. Adjective volunteer work at the hospital
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As the smoke intensified, Ivan Nikiforov took a leave from his office job in the city — not to escape the bad air but to head into the fires as a volunteer. Alexander Ivanov And Daria Litvinova, Star Tribune, 27 July 2021 Black, who was 53 and known to many as Jerry, had served as a volunteer for the Peace Corps in the Comoros Islands and dedicated his life to working on economic and social justice within the U.S. and beyond its borders. Washington Post, 24 July 2021 The race was founded by Paul Sallarulo, whose relationship with Special Olympics began over 45 years ago as a volunteer in high school. Gary Curreri, sun-sentinel.com, 15 July 2021 Allison has worked as a volunteer at the John Deere Classic for 14 years, including servings as a hole marshal. Jay Ginsbach, Forbes, 7 July 2021 The small-town Hoosier decided to get involved and support Drake’s campaign as a volunteer. Justin L. Mack, The Indianapolis Star, 30 June 2021 Méndez previously worked as a volunteer in the 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 29 June 2021 Register or sign up as a volunteer by Friday at vanc.me/food. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 June 2021 During Clinton's 1996 reelection campaign, Rutherford stayed in Arkansas and worked as a campaign volunteer. Bill Bowden, Arkansas Online, 27 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Hmong families, such as Lee's, came to America because the State Department gave the resettlement contract to volunteer agencies such as Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Service and Church World Service, according to HAPA. Gabriela Miranda, USA TODAY, 29 July 2021 To donate, volunteer or inquire about bringing sacred sleep to your church, visit thegubbioproject.org. Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, 28 July 2021 My husband has retired and does volunteer work weekly, at two different places. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 26 July 2021 Warzocha will also explain how groups and individuals can volunteer to help. Joan Rusek, cleveland, 26 July 2021 My husband has retired and does volunteer work weekly, at two different places. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 25 July 2021 Webb was a former worship leader at Crossroads and had many friends who attend and volunteer at the church. Brook Endale, The Enquirer, 24 July 2021 To volunteer, call 520-629-1822 or go to www.tucson.va.gov/giving. Reach Karina Bland at karina.bland@arizonarepublic.com. Karina Bland, The Arizona Republic, 18 June 2021 When college student Jun Hatakeyama signed up to volunteer at the Tokyo Olympics, he was filled with national pride -- excited to welcome the world's best athletes to his country. Selina Wang, CNN, 15 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Good Knights is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that builds and delivers beds to children who go to sleep each night without a bed of their own. Rich Heileman, cleveland, 16 July 2021 Missing Dogs Massachusetts, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization, has also stepped up to help with the search. BostonGlobe.com, 6 July 2021 The last time there was a draft was during the Vietnam War, and the military has been all-volunteer since. Jessica Gresko, Anchorage Daily News, 7 June 2021 The last time there was a draft was during the Vietnam War, and the military has been all-volunteer since. Jessica Gresko, ajc, 7 June 2021 The last time there was a draft was during the Vietnam War, and the military has been all-volunteer since. Jessica Gresko, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 June 2021 The last time there was a draft was during the Vietnam War, and the military has been all-volunteer since. Jessica Gresko, Anchorage Daily News, 7 June 2021 The last time there was a draft was during the Vietnam War, and the military has been all-volunteer since. Jessica Gresko, ajc, 7 June 2021 The last time there was a draft was during the Vietnam War, and the military has been all-volunteer since. Jessica Gresko, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 June 2021

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

Noun

circa 1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1709, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Adjective

1649, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for volunteer

Noun

obsolete French voluntaire (now volontaire), from voluntaire, adjective, voluntary, from Old French, from Latin voluntarius

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Learn More About volunteer

Time Traveler for volunteer

Time Traveler

The first known use of volunteer was circa 1600

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Dictionary Entries Near volunteer

voluntative

volunteer

volunteerism

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Statistics for volunteer

Last Updated

30 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Volunteer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/volunteer. Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for volunteer

volunteer

noun

English Language Learners Definition of volunteer

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a person who chooses to join the military
: a person who does work without getting paid to do it

volunteer

verb

English Language Learners Definition of volunteer (Entry 2 of 3)

: to offer to do something without being forced to or without getting paid to do it
: to choose to join the military
: to give (something) without being forced to or without getting paid for it

volunteer

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of volunteer (Entry 3 of 3)

: of, relating to, or done by volunteers

volunteer

noun
vol·​un·​teer | \ ˌvä-lən-ˈtir How to pronounce volunteer (audio) \

Kids Definition of volunteer

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a person who does something by free choice usually with no payment expected or given Volunteers painted the town hall.

volunteer

adjective

Kids Definition of volunteer (Entry 2 of 3)

: relating to or done by volunteers a volunteer fire department

volunteer

verb
volunteered; volunteering

Kids Definition of volunteer (Entry 3 of 3)

: to offer or give without being asked or forced and usually with no expectation of payment I volunteered my services. Tucker Mouse had volunteered to let them use the drain pipe …— George Selden, The Cricket in Times Square

volunteer

noun
vol·​un·​teer | \ ˌvä-lən-ˈtir How to pronounce volunteer (audio) \

Legal Definition of volunteer

1 : one that voluntarily undertakes something especially : one who without request, obligation, or an interest pays the debt of another and is denied reimbursement from subrogation
2 : one who receives property without giving valuable consideration

More from Merriam-Webster on volunteer

Nglish: Translation of volunteer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of volunteer for Arabic Speakers

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