Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A person who performs or offers to perform a service voluntarily.
  • noun A person who chooses to enter a branch of the military without being drafted or forced to do so by law.
  • noun Law A person who works without pay or assumes an obligation to which he or she is not a party or otherwise interested.
  • noun Botany A cultivated plant growing from self-sown or accidentally dropped seed.
  • adjective Being, consisting of, or done by volunteers.
  • adjective Botany Growing from self-sown or accidentally dropped seed. Used of a cultivated plant or crop.
  • intransitive verb To give or offer to give voluntarily.
  • intransitive verb Informal To compel (someone) to do something.
  • intransitive verb To perform or offer to perform a service of one's own free will.
  • intransitive verb To choose to enter military service of one's own free will.
  • intransitive verb To do charitable or helpful work without pay.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In horticulture, a plant that comes up of itself from naturally scattered seed, in distinction from one that comes from sowing by the horticulturist.
  • To offer, contribute, or bestow voluntarily, or without constraint or compulsion.
  • To enter into any service of one's free will, without constraint or compulsion: as, to volunteer for a campaign
  • noun A person who enters into any service of his own free will.
  • noun A person who enters military service of his own free will, and not by constraint or compulsion; one who offers to serve, and generally receives some consideration or privileges on that account; in the United States, especially during the civil war, a soldier of a body other than the regular army, but practically governed by the same laws when in service.
  • noun In law, one who claims the benefit of a contract or conveyance although no consideration proceeded from him nor from any one in whose place he stands.
  • noun A tree which grows spontaneously: as, that pear-tree in my garden is a volunteer.
  • Entering into military service by free will and choice: as, a volunteer soldier.
  • Composed of volunteers: as, a volunteer corps.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to a volunteer or volunteers; consisting of volunteers; voluntary
  • noun One who enters into, or offers for, any service of his own free will.
  • noun (Mil.) One who enters into service voluntarily, but who, when in service, is subject to discipline and regulations like other soldiers; -- opposed to conscript; specifically, a voluntary member of the organized militia of a country as distinguished from the standing army.
  • noun (Law) A grantee in a voluntary conveyance; one to whom a conveyance is made without valuable consideration; a party, other than a wife or child of the grantor, to whom, or for whose benefit, a voluntary conveyance is made.
  • transitive verb To offer or bestow voluntarily, or without solicitation or compulsion.
  • intransitive verb To enter into, or offer for, any service of one's own free will, without solicitation or compulsion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun One who enters into, or offers for, any service of his/her own free will, especially when done without pay.
  • noun military One who enters into military service voluntarily, but who, when in service, is subject to discipline and regulations like other soldiers; -- opposed to conscript; specifically, a voluntary member of the organized militia of a country as distinguished from the standing army.
  • noun law A person who acts out of his own will without a legal obligation, such as a donor.
  • noun botany A plant that grows in disturbed soil.
  • noun A native or resident of the American state of Tennessee.
  • verb intransitive To enlist oneself as a volunteer.
  • verb transitive To do or offer to do something voluntarily.
  • verb intransitive, botany To grow without human sowing or intentional cultivation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a person who performs voluntary work
  • adjective without payment
  • verb tell voluntarily
  • noun (military) a person who freely enlists for service
  • verb agree freely
  • verb do volunteer work
  • noun a native or resident of Tennessee

Etymologies

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

[Obsolete French voluntaire, from Old French, voluntary, from Latin voluntārius; see voluntary.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French voluntaire, from Latin voluntarius ("willing, voluntary"); or from voluntary +‎ -eer.

Examples

  • Part of the difficulties seem to stem from the fact that as an army sponsored organization, there are a lot of rules that an FRG needs to adhere to, and frankly, there is no way to hold volunteers accountable, and most will balk at the rediculous restrictions. ok, so I have to fill out how many dozen forms to _volunteer_ my time, including several on a continuing basis every time I do some volunteer work?

    Military Spouses for Creative Solutions - SpouseBUZZ

  • We advise against using the term "volunteer," and some people like the term "pro bono" especially in the legal field, where it is common.

    Kristin Maschka: Resume Advice After a Career Break: An Interview With iRelaunch

  • At the most basic level this means encouraging their education by listening to them read every day. mickinlondon, I believe the term 'volunteer' signifies that they are not getting paid to work.

    Evening Standard - Home

  • Gary, London, England, 06/06/2011 14:58 mickinlondon, I believe the term 'volunteer' signifies that they are not getting paid to work.

    Evening Standard - Home

  • Gary, London, England, 06/06/2011 14:58 mickinlondon, I believe the term 'volunteer' signifies that they are not getting paid to work.

    Evening Standard - Home

  • Alec Allison, London, 06/06/2011 15:18 mickinlondon, I believe the term 'volunteer' signifies that they are not getting paid to work.

    Evening Standard - Home

  • At the most basic level this means encouraging their education by listening to them read every day. mickinlondon, I believe the term 'volunteer' signifies that they are not getting paid to work.

    Evening Standard - Home

  • The term "volunteer" is used loosely; following in the grand tradition of mildly pervy prestidigitators, Wuthergloom/Woolfe has a tendency to select the most attractive, young women in attendance to participate.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • Alec Allison, London, 06/06/2011 15:18 mickinlondon, I believe the term 'volunteer' signifies that they are not getting paid to work.

    Evening Standard - Home

  • I grew up with the word "volunteer" as a very powerful word in my family.

    Avital Binshtock: More Than a Desperate Housewife, Eva Longoria Talks Activism

Comments

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