AskDefine | Define voluntary

Dictionary Definition

voluntary adj
1 of your own free will or design; 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" [ant: involuntary]
2 controlled by individual volition; "voluntary motions"; "voluntary muscles" [ant: involuntary]


1 (military) a person who freely enlists for service [syn: volunteer, military volunteer] [ant: draftee]
2 composition (often improvised) for a solo instrument (especially solo organ) and not a regular part of a service or performance

User Contributed Dictionary



From voluntarius from voluntas 'will'.



  1. Done, given, or acting of one's own free will.
  2. Working or done without payment.


done, given, or acting of one's own free will
working or done without payment

Related terms

Extensive Definition

A volunteer is someone who works for a community or for the benefit of environment primarily because they choose to do so. The word comes from Latin, and can be translated as "will" (as in doing something out of ones own free will). Many serve through a non-profit organization – sometimes referred to as formal volunteering, but a significant number also serve less formally, either individually or as part of a group. A student in Ontario must volunteer if he wants to or not.
By definition, a volunteer worker does not get paid or receive compensation for services rendered other than reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses.

Volunteer management

Many organizations (hospitals, food banks, etc.) have a continual need for volunteers. Other high-profile events, such as a marathon, require hundreds or thousands of volunteers for a one-time or annual need. The success of such events has a significant economic impact on the local economy. Thus, there is increasing awareness of the economic importance of volunteers.
This, in turn, has elevated the importance of the volunteer manager for such events, people who formerly may have managed volunteers in addition to other duties but now may be viewed as professionals in the field. This has also increased the need for volunteer management software, e-mail broadcasts, texting and other technological tools, allowing the volunteer manager to register and communicate with large numbers of people who otherwise have no connection to each other.
Volunteering in India An organisation working on various models of volunteering in India matching and working as a voluntary Non Profit


External links

voluntary in Bulgarian: Доброволец
voluntary in Czech: Dobrovolník
voluntary in German: Ehrenamt
voluntary in Modern Greek (1453-): Εθελοντισμός
voluntary in Spanish: Voluntariado
voluntary in French: Bénévolat
voluntary in Korean: 자원봉사자
voluntary in Italian: Volontariato
voluntary in Hebrew: התנדבות
voluntary in Lithuanian: Savanorystė
voluntary in Dutch: Vrijwilliger
voluntary in Japanese: ボランティア
voluntary in Norwegian: Frivillig
voluntary in Polish: Wolontariat
voluntary in Portuguese: Trabalho voluntário
voluntary in Russian: Волонтёр
voluntary in Swedish: Volontär
voluntary in Tamil: தன்னார்வலர்
voluntary in Thai: อาสาสมัคร
voluntary in Turkish: Gönüllü
voluntary in Ukrainian: Волонтер
voluntary in Contenese: 義工
voluntary in Chinese: 志願工作者

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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