KJV Dictionary Definition: voluntariness


VOL'UNTARINESS, n. The state of being voluntary or optional.


VOL'UNTARY, a. L. voluntarius, from voluntas, will, from volo.

1. Acting by choice or spontaneously; acting without being influenced or impelled by another.

2. Free, or having power to act by choice; not being under restraint; as, man is a voluntary agent.

3. Proceeding from choice or free will.

That sin or guilt pertains exclusively to voluntary action, is the true principle of orthodoxy.

4. Willing; acting with willingness.

She fell to lust a voluntary prey.

5. Done by design; purposed; intended. If a man kills another by lopping a tree, here is no voluntary murder.

6. Done freely, or of choice; proceeding from free will. He went into voluntary exile. He made a voluntary surrender.

7. Acting of his own accord; spontaneous; as the voluntary dictates of knowledge.

8. Subject to the will; as the voluntary motions of an animal. Thus the motion of a leg or an arm is voluntary, but the motion of the heart is involuntary.

A voluntary escape, in law, is the escape of a prisoner by the express consent of the sheriff.

Voluntary jurisdiction, is that which is exercised in doing that which no one opposes; as in granting dispensations, &c.

Voluntary affidavit or oath, is one made in an extra-judicial matter.

Voluntary waste, is that which is committed by positive acts.


1. One who engages in any affair of his own free will; a volunteer. In this sense, volunteer is now generally used.

2. In music, a piece played by a musician extemporarily, according to his fancy. In the Philosophical Transactions, we have a method of writing voluntaries, as fast as the musician plays the notes. This is by a cylinder turning under the keys of the organ.

3. A composition for the organ.