Pronunciation: (vol'un-ter"ē), [key]
—adj., n., pl. -tar•ies.
1. done, made, brought about, undertaken, etc., of one's own accord or by free choice: a voluntary contribution.
2. of, pertaining to, or acting in accord with the will: voluntary cooperation.
3. of, pertaining to, or depending on voluntary action: voluntary hospitals.
a. acting or done without compulsion or obligation.
b. done by intention, and not by accident: voluntary manslaughter.
c. made without valuable consideration: a voluntary settlement.
5. Physiol.subject to or controlled by the will.
6. having the power of willing or choosing: a voluntary agent.
7. proceeding from a natural impulse; spontaneous: voluntary laughter.
1. something done voluntarily.
2. a piece of music, frequently spontaneous and improvised, performed as a prelude to a larger work, esp. a piece of organ music performed before, during, or after an office of the church.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.