American English

Definition of voluntary adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1done willingly, not because you are forced a voluntary agreement Attendance at the meetings is purely voluntary. to pay voluntary contributions into a pension fund opposite compulsory
  2. 2[usually before noun] (of work) done by people who choose to do it without being paid I do some voluntary work at the local hospital. She works there on a voluntary basis. voluntary services/bodies/agencies/organizations (= organized, controlled, or supported by people who choose to do this and are usually not paid) the voluntary sector (= organizations that are set up to help people and that do not make a profit, for example charities)
  3. 3[only before noun] (of a person) doing a job without wanting to be paid for it a voluntary worker
  4. 4(technology) (of movements of the body) that you can control opposite involuntary
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: voluntary