from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act of flying; flight.
  • n. The ability to fly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Flight; flying.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of flying; flight.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of flying; the power of flight, or its habitual exercise; flight; volation.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Medieval Latin volitātio, from Latin volitāre.


  • "John Wilkins (1614-1672), one of the founders of the Royal Society and bishop of Chester … in 1640 discussed the possibility of reaching the moon by volitation."

    Britannica's CD-ROM Is Fun, But It Could Use Some Nonsense

  • However visionary this idea might be, he had collected innumerable and extremely interesting data, having examined the anatomical structure of almost every winged thing in the creation, and compared the weight of the body with the area of the wings when expanded in the act of volitation as well as the natural habits of birds, insects, bats, and fishes, with reference to their powers of flying and duration of flight.

    Notes and Queries, Number 46, September 14, 1850

  • A chimney-sweeper observed to a scientific friend that probably the density of the atmosphere might prevent the intended volitation; and Popanilla, who, having read almost as many pamphlets as the observer, now felt quite at home, exceedingly admired the observation.

    The Voyage of Captain Popanilla


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  • Typical Nabokov. As one of my Russian teachers once said to me, if you asked Nabokov to touch his nose, he would comply by hooking his elbow around the back of his head. He could never say no to an arcane archaism.

    August 19, 2008

  • Yeck, what a sentence.

    August 19, 2008

  • ...puzzling out the exaggerated but, on the whole, complimentary allusions to his father's volitations and loves in another life in Lermontov's diamond-faceted tetrameters.

    - Nabokov, Ada, or Ardor.

    May 17, 2008