Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French voluntarie, from Latin voluntarius, from voluntas will, from velle to will, wish — more at will
Date: 14th century
1. proceeding from the will or from one's own choice or consent
2. unconstrained by interference ; self-determining
3. done by design or intention ; intentional <voluntary manslaughter> 4. of, relating to, subject to, or regulated by the will <voluntary behavior> 5. having power of free choice 6. provided or supported by voluntary action <a voluntary organization> 7. acting or done of one's own free will without valuable consideration or legal obligation • voluntarily adverb • voluntariness noun Synonyms: voluntary, intentional, deliberate, willing mean done or brought about of one's own will. voluntary implies freedom and spontaneity of choice or action without external compulsion <a voluntary confession>. intentional stresses an awareness of an end to be achieved <the intentional concealment of vital information>. deliberate implies full consciousness of the nature of one's act and its consequences <deliberate acts of sabotage>. willing implies a readiness and eagerness to accede to or anticipate the wishes of another <willing obedience>. II. noun (plural -taries) Date: 1598 1. a. a prefatory often extemporized musical piece b. an improvisatory organ piece played before, during, or after a religious service 2. one who participates voluntarily ; volunteer
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.