From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Webster's Dictionary [1]

(1): ( v. t.) Proceeding from the will; produced in or by an act of choice.

(2): ( v. t.) Unconstrained by the interference of another; unimpelled by the influence of another; not prompted or persuaded by another; done of his or its own accord; spontaneous; acting of one's self, or of itself; free.

(3): ( n.) A piece played by a musician, often extemporarily, according to his fancy; specifically, an organ solo played before, during, or after divine service.

(4): ( v. t.) Done by design or intention; intentional; purposed; intended; not accidental; as, if a man kills another by lopping a tree, it is not voluntary manslaughter.

(5): ( n.) One who engages in any affair of his own free will; a volunteer.

(6): ( v. t.) Of or pertaining to the will; subject to, or regulated by, the will; as, the voluntary motions of an animal, such as the movements of the leg or arm (in distinction from involuntary motions, such as the movements of the heart); the voluntary muscle fibers, which are the agents in voluntary motion.

(7): ( v. t.) Endowed with the power of willing; as, man is a voluntary agent.

(8): ( v. t.) Of or pertaining to voluntaryism; as, a voluntary church, in distinction from an established or state church.

(9): ( n.) One who advocates voluntaryism.

(10): ( v. t.) Free; without compulsion; according to the will, consent, or agreement, of a party; without consideration; gratuitous; without valuable consideration.

King James Dictionary [2]

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.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [3]

 Colossians 2:18Desire

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [4]

vol´un - tā́ - ri  : For the sake of variety the King James Version in   Leviticus 7:16;  Ezekiel 46:12 ( bis ) has rendered נדבה , nedhābhāh , by "voluntary offering" instead of the usual "freewill offering" (so the Revised Version (British and American)). The words "of his own voluntary will" in  Leviticus 1:3 the King James Version are a pure gloss, properly omitted in the Revised Version (British and American), as they represent nothing in the Hebrew text. 1 Macc 2:42 has "voluntarily" as part of the translation of ἑκουσιάζω , hekousiázō , the Revised Version (British and American) "willingly."

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [5]

in Church music, is an instrumental piece such as is usually performed. on the organ at the beginning or ending of divine service. The name probably arose from the fact that these effusions were generally extemporaneous or voluntary, especially with accomplished organists, or were their own selections. The term is applied to written compositions in any style having the same general design.