Spontaneous
Spontaneous Spon*ta"ne*ous (sp[o^]n*t[=a]"n[-e]*[u^]s), a. [L. spontaneus, fr. sponte of free will, voluntarily.] 1. Proceeding from natural feeling, temperament, or disposition, or from a native internal proneness, readiness, or tendency, without constraint; as, a spontaneous gift or proposition. [1913 Webster]

2. Proceeding from, or acting by, internal impulse, energy, or natural law, without external force; as, spontaneous motion; spontaneous growth. [1913 Webster]

3. Produced without being planted, or without human labor; as, a spontaneous growth of wood. [1913 Webster]

{Spontaneous combustion}, combustion produced in a substance by the evolution of heat through the chemical action of its own elements; as, the spontaneous combustion of waste matter saturated with oil.

{Spontaneous generation}. (Biol.) See under {Generation}. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Voluntary; uncompelled; willing.

Usage: {Spontaneous}, {Voluntary}. What is voluntary is the result of a volition, or act of choice; it therefore implies some degree of consideration, and may be the result of mere reason without excited feeling. What is spontaneous springs wholly from feeling, or a sudden impulse which admits of no reflection; as, a spontaneous burst of applause. Hence, the term is also applied to things inanimate when they are produced without the determinate purpose or care of man. ``Abstinence which is but voluntary fasting, and . . . exercise which is but voluntary labor.'' --J. Seed. [1913 Webster]

Spontaneous joys, where nature has its play, The soul adopts, and owns their firstborn away. --Goldsmith. [1913 Webster] -- {Spon*ta"ne*ous*ly}, adv. -- {Spon*ta"ne*ous*ness}, n. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

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  • Spontaneous — means a self generated event, typically requiring no outside influence or help.The word spontaneous may also refer to:* Spontaneous abortion * Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis * Spontaneous combustion * Spontaneous emission * Spontaneous fission …   Wikipedia

  • spontaneous — 1 Spontaneous, impulsive, instinctive, automatic, mechanical in application to persons or their movements, acts, and utterances mean acting or activated without apparent thought or deliberation. Spontaneous can describe whatever is not affected… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • spontaneous — I adjective discretional, discretionary, elective, extemporal, extemporaneous, extemporary, extempore, free, free willed, impetuous, impromptu, improvisatorial, improvised, impulsive, indeliberate, independent, natural, optional, rash, self… …   Law dictionary

  • spontaneous — 1650s, from L.L. spontaneus willing, of one s free will, from L. (sua) sponte of one s own accord, willingly; of unknown origin. Related: Spontaneously. Earliest use is of persons and characters. Spontaneous combustion first attested 1795.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • spontaneous — [spän tā′nē əs] adj. [LL spontaneus < L sponte, of free will < IE base * (s)pen(d) , to pull > SPIN] 1. acting in accordance with or resulting from a natural feeling, impulse, or tendency, without any constraint, effort, or premeditation …   English World dictionary

  • spontaneous — [adj] impulsive, willing ad lib*, automatic, break loose, casual, down, extemporaneous, extempore, free, free spirited, from the hip*, impetuous, impromptu, improvised, inevitable, instinctive, involuntary, irresistible, natural, offhand, off the …   New thesaurus

  • spontaneous — ► ADJECTIVE 1) performed or occurring as a result of an unpremeditated impulse and without external stimulus. 2) open, natural, and uninhibited. 3) (of a process or event) occurring without apparent external cause. 4) Biology (of movement or… …   English terms dictionary

  • spontaneous — 01. The crowd burst into [spontaneous] applause when the Queen appeared on the balcony. 02. Thousands of people [spontaneously] poured into the streets of the capital to celebrate after the victory of the national soccer team in the World Cup. 03 …   Grammatical examples in English

  • spontaneous — adjective 1) a spontaneous display of affection Syn: unplanned, unpremeditated, unrehearsed, impulsive, impetuous, unstudied, impromptu, spur of the moment, extempore, extemporaneous; unforced, voluntary, unconstrained, unprompted, unbidden,… …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • spontaneous — [[t]spɒnte͟ɪniəs[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED Spontaneous acts are not planned or arranged, but are done because someone suddenly wants to do them. Diana s house was crowded with happy people whose spontaneous outbursts of song were accompanied by lively… …   English dictionary

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