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 Karen Thurber, a volunteer with voter registration nonprofit Voterise and the League of Women Voters, helped sign people up to vote at the festival. Shane Burke, The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 Oct. 2021 Over the years, he has been actively involved in the community, namely as a volunteer with the Dublin VA Medical Center, WGXA reported. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, 4 Oct. 2021 Noll also was a member of the Rotary Club of Allen Sunrise, a Leadership TASB graduate of 2020, a graduate of the Leadership Allen Fairview 2017 class and a volunteer with the Foundation For Allen Schools and the Allen Eagle Run. Dallas News, 4 Oct. 2021 Founded in the Mount Vernon neighborhood in 1978, Chase Brexton Health Care began as a volunteer-run clinic that specialized in gay men’s health. Stephanie García, baltimoresun.com, 30 Sep. 2021 Today, the organization has 325 employees, who often sport their signature red-and-black Pacific Northwest buffalo plaid at community events or volunteer opportunities. oregonlive, 24 Sep. 2021 The Aberdeen Fire Department is staffed by volunteer firefighters, as are the rest of Harford County’s firefighter services. James Whitlow, baltimoresun.com, 22 Sep. 2021 View current and upcoming volunteer opportunities at unitedwaydallas.org/volunteer. Dallas News, 17 Sep. 2021 Two of his district’s 20 career and 20 volunteer firefighters were among the hundreds who lost homes. Julie Johnson, Raheem Hosseini, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Red Cross is not currently accepting material donations, but people can sign up to volunteer online. Dallas News, 30 Sep. 2021 Readers can sign up on our website to volunteer and share their professional expertise by helping our Climbers practice and refine interview skills and build networking connections that extend beyond our virtual events and into the job search. Diana Tsai, Forbes, 28 Sep. 2021 Her mom would often bring Xiong along to meetings or sign her up to volunteer. Sarah Volpenhein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 16 Sep. 2021 People can sign up to volunteer here to help with operations that began today. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 30 Aug. 2021 Sign up to volunteer here, donate here, or buy necessities from their Amazon wishlist here. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, 19 Aug. 2021 Those who would like to volunteer can call McAvinew at 440-481-5163, or 440-471-1041. cleveland, 17 Aug. 2021 To volunteer, fill out the Community Sponsorship Groups form. Jessica Flores, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 Aug. 2021 May 22: An email obtained by The Republic shows a nonprofit started by former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne will handle background checks, non-disclosure agreements and volunteer agreements of audit workers. Staff Reports, The Arizona Republic, 25 Sep. 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

10 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Volunteer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/volunteer. Accessed 16 Oct. 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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