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Voluntary Definition


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Other Voluntary Definition

[n] composition (often improvised) for a solo instrument (especially solo organ) and not a regular part of a service or performance
[n] a person who freely enlists for (military) service
[adj] of your own free will or design; not forced or compelled; "man is a voluntary agent"; "participation was voluntary"; "voluntary manslaughter"; "voluntary generosity in times of disaster"; "voluntary social workers"; "a voluntary confession"
[adj] (physiology) controlled by individual volition; "voluntary motions"; "voluntary muscles"

Misc. Definitions

\Vol"un*ta*ry\, a. [L. voluntarius, fr. voluntas will, choice, from the root of velle to will, p. pr. volens; akin to E. will: cf. F. volontaire, Of. also voluntaire. See {Will}, v. t., and cf. {Benevolent}, {Volition}, {Volunteer}.]
1. Proceeding from the will; produced in or by an act of choice. That sin or guilt pertains exclusively to voluntary action is the true principle of orthodoxy. --N. W. Taylor.
2. Unconstrained by the interference of another; unimpelled by the influence of another; not prompted or persuaded by another; done of his or its own accord; spontaneous; acting of one's self, or of itself; free. Our voluntary service he requires. --Milton. She fell to lust a voluntary prey. --Pope.
3. Done by design or intention; intentional; purposed; intended; not accidental; as, if a man kills another by lopping a tree, it is not voluntary manslaughter.
4. (Physiol.) Of or pertaining to the will; subject to, or regulated by, the will; as, the voluntary motions of an animal, such as the movements of the leg or arm (in distinction from involuntary motions, such as the movements of the heart); the voluntary muscle fibers, which are the agents in voluntary motion.
5. Endowed with the power of willing; as, man is a voluntary agent. God did not work as a necessary, but a voluntary, agent, intending beforehand, and decreeing with himself, that which did outwardly proceed from him. --Hooker.
6. (Law) Free; without compulsion; according to the will, consent, or agreement, of a party; without consideration; gratuitous; without valuable consideration.
7. (Eccl.) Of or pertaining to voluntaryism; as, a voluntary church, in distinction from an established or state church. {Voluntary affidavit} or {oath} (Law), an affidavit or oath made in extrajudicial matter. {Voluntary conveyance} (Law), a conveyance without valuable consideration. {Voluntary escape} (Law), the escape of a prisoner by the express consent of the sheriff. {Voluntary jurisdiction}. (Eng. Eccl. Law) See {Contentious jurisdiction}, under {Contentious}. {Voluntary waste}. (Law) See {Waste}, n.,
4. Syn: See {Spontaneous}.
\Vol"un*ta*ry\, n.; pl. {Voluntaries}.
1. One who engages in any affair of his own free will; a volunteer. [R.] --Shak.
2. (Mus.) A piece played by a musician, often extemporarily, according to his fancy; specifically, an organ solo played before, during, or after divine service.
3. (Eccl.) One who advocates voluntaryism.

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