voluntary

voluntary, intentional, deliberate, willful, willing can mean constituting or proceeding from an exercise of free will.
Voluntary, the most widely applicable of these terms, often implies not only freedom from constraint but freedom from the control of an influence that might suggest, prompt, or incite action; it does not necessarily imply that these influences have not been operative, but it usually suggests that the decision is the result of one's free choice
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a voluntary renunciation of his inheritance

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a voluntary confession

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a voluntary system . . . which possessed a certain pleasant dignity denied to the systems of a more compulsory sort— SackvilleWest

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Often the term carries another, sometimes a different, implication, such as that of spontaneity
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voluntary contributions

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our voluntary service he requires not— Milton

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or, especially when the opposition is to involuntary, that of subjection to or regulation by the will
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voluntary movements of the eyes

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voluntary muscles

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or that of prior consideration and clear choice voluntary manslaughter or that of absence of any legal obligation or compulsion (as to do or make)
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voluntary bankruptcy

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or of any valuable consideration in return for doing or making
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voluntary conveyance of property

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Intentional applies chiefly to acts or processes entered into in order to achieve a desired end or purpose or to the end or purpose so willed or effected; the use of the word eliminates all suggestion of the possibility of accident or inadvertence
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an intentional insult

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not one in a thousand . . . perpetrates any intentional damage to fish, fowl, or flowers— Jefferies

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Deliberate (see also DELIBERATE 2, SLOW) adds the implication of full knowledge or full consciousness of the nature of one's intended act and a decision to go ahead in spite of such knowledge or consciousness
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a deliberate falsehood

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deliberate murder

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an organized and deliberate attack—carefully planned and calculated— N. Y. Times

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Willful (see also UNRULY)
adds to deliberate the implications of a refusal to be taught, counseled, or commanded, and of an obstinate determination to follow one's own will or choice in full consciousness of the influences or arguments opposed to the attitude adopted or the action or deed contemplated
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willful murder

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willful ignorance

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his willful abuse of his children

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willful blindness to ascertained truth— Inge

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Willing carries, in contrast, an implication of characteristics (as agreeableness, openness of mind, or absence of reluctance)
that makes one ready or eager, without suggestion or without coercion, to accede to the wishes or instructions of others or to do something or effect some end pleasing to them
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how curious is that instinct which makes each sex, in different ways, the willing slave of the other!— Jefferies

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willing service

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where ears are willing, talk tends to be loud and long— Huxley

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Analogous words: chosen, elected, opted (see CHOOSE): *free, independent, autonomous
Antonyms: involuntary: instinctive (sense 2)
Contrasted words: compelled, coerced, forced (see FORCE vb)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • voluntary — vol·un·tary / vä lən ˌter ē/ adj 1 a: proceeding from one s own free choice or consent rather than as the result of duress, coercion, or deception a voluntary statement b: not compelled by law: done as a matter of choice or agreement voluntary… …   Law dictionary

  • Voluntary — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Voluntary — • Wilful, proceeding from the will Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Voluntary     Voluntary     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • voluntary — vol‧un‧ta‧ry [ˈvɒləntri ǁ ˈvɑːlənteri] adjective 1. done or agreed to willingly and without being forced: • He suggested that workers take voluntary pay cuts to help the economy. • Cigar advertising on television is banned under a voluntary… …   Financial and business terms

  • voluntary — [väl′ən ter΄ē] adj. [ME voluntarie < L voluntarius, voluntary < voluntas, free will < volo, I wish: see VOLITION] 1. brought about by one s own free choice; given or done of one s own free will; freely chosen or undertaken 2. acting in a …   English World dictionary

  • Voluntary — (v. engl. „spontan“) bezeichnet ein Musikstück (meist für die Orgel), welches improvisiert wurde oder eine Komposition von improvisatorischem Charakter. Das Voluntary entstammt dem englischen Barock und ist in der ursprünglichen Funktion mit dem… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Voluntary — may refer to:*A word meaning done, given, or acting of one s own free will , see Volunteer *Voluntary (music), a piece of music played as part of a church service …   Wikipedia

  • voluntary — ● voluntary, voluntaries nom masculin (anglais voluntary) En Angleterre, au XVIe s., court morceau d orgue improvisé avant le culte ou pièce pour clavecin. (L école des virginalistes en a laissé de nombreux exemples. Blow et Purcell l… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Voluntary — Vol un*ta*ry, n.; pl. {Voluntaries}. 1. One who engages in any affair of his own free will; a volunteer. [R.] Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. (Mus.) A piece played by a musician, often extemporarily, according to his fancy; specifically, an organ solo… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • voluntary — late 14c. (implied in voluntarily), from L. voluntarius of one s free will, from voluntas will, from the ancient accusative singular prp. of velle to wish (see WILL (Cf. will) (v.)). Originally of feelings, later also of actions (mid 15c.) …   Etymology dictionary

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