Meaning of voluntary


Pronunciation: (vol'un-ter"ē), [key]
— adj., n., pl. -tar•ies.
  1. done, made, brought about, undertaken, etc., of one's own accord or by free choice: a voluntary contribution.
  2. of, pertaining to, or acting in accord with the will: voluntary cooperation.
  3. of, pertaining to, or depending on voluntary action: voluntary hospitals.
  4. voluntary manslaughter.
    1. acting or done without compulsion or obligation.
    2. done by intention, and not by accident:voluntary manslaughter.
    3. made without valuable consideration:a voluntary settlement.
  5. subject to or controlled by the will.
  6. having the power of willing or choosing: a voluntary agent.
  7. proceeding from a natural impulse; spontaneous: voluntary laughter.
  1. something done voluntarily.
  2. a piece of music, frequently spontaneous and improvised, performed as a prelude to a larger work, esp. a piece of organ music performed before, during, or after an office of the church.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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