Definitions for voluntaryˈvɒl ənˌtɛr i

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word voluntary

Princeton's WordNet

  1. volunteer, military volunteer, voluntary(noun)

    (military) a person who freely enlists for service

  2. voluntary(adj)

    composition (often improvised) for a solo instrument (especially solo organ) and not a regular part of a religious service or musical performance

  3. voluntary(adj)

    of your own free will or design; done by choice; 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"

  4. voluntary(adj)

    controlled by individual volition

    "voluntary motions"; "voluntary muscles"


  1. voluntary(Noun)

    A short piece of music, often having improvisation, played on a solo instrument

  2. voluntary(Noun)

    A volunteer

  3. voluntary(Adverb)


  4. voluntary(Adjective)

    Done, given, or acting of one's own free will.

  5. voluntary(Adjective)

    Working or done without payment.

  6. Origin: From *, from volontaire, from voluntarius, from voluntas, from volens, present participle of velle.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Voluntary(verb)

    proceeding from the will; produced in or by an act of choice

  2. Voluntary(verb)

    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

  3. Voluntary(verb)

    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. Voluntary(verb)

    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. Voluntary(verb)

    endowed with the power of willing; as, man is a voluntary agent

  6. Voluntary(verb)

    free; without compulsion; according to the will, consent, or agreement, of a party; without consideration; gratuitous; without valuable consideration

  7. Voluntary(verb)

    of or pertaining to voluntaryism; as, a voluntary church, in distinction from an established or state church

  8. Voluntary(noun)

    one who engages in any affair of his own free will; a volunteer

  9. Voluntary(noun)

    a piece played by a musician, often extemporarily, according to his fancy; specifically, an organ solo played before, during, or after divine service

  10. Voluntary(noun)

    one who advocates voluntaryism


  1. Voluntary

    In music a voluntary is a piece of music, usually for organ, that is played as part of a church service. In English-speaking countries, the music played before and after the service is often called a 'voluntary', whether or not it is titled so. The title 'voluntary' was often used by English composers during the late Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods. Originally, the term was used for a piece of organ music that was free in style, and was meant to sound improvised. This probably grew out of the practice of church organists improvising after a service. Later, the voluntary began to develop into a more definite form, though it has never been strictly defined. During the late 17th century, a 'voluntary' was typically written in a fugal or imitative style, often with different sections. In the 18th century the form typically began with a slow movement and then a fugue. Two to four movements were common, with contrasting tempos. In the 18th century England, the word 'voluntary' and 'fuge' were interchangeable. These English style 'fuges' do not follow the strict theoretic form of German-style fugues. They are more related to the 'fugues' written by Italian composers of the time.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'voluntary' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2748

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'voluntary' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1919

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'voluntary' in Adjectives Frequency: #348

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