Definition of voluntarism in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvɒləntərɪz(ə)m/


[mass noun]
1The principle of relying on voluntary action (used especially with reference to the involvement of voluntary organizations in social welfare): some councils connected the twin themes of public spending cuts and the strong emphasis on voluntarism
More example sentences
  • Although the NGO sector has become increasingly professionalised over the last two decades, principles of altruism and voluntarism remain key defining characteristics.
  • For both groups, the highest percentage of voluntarism took place in religious organizations, followed by education and youth development activities.
  • Religious life followed the principle of voluntarism.
1.1 historical (Especially in the 19th century) the principle that the Church or schools should be independent of the state and supported by voluntary contributions.
2 Philosophy The doctrine that the will is a fundamental or dominant factor in the individual or the universe.
Example sentences
  • According to doxastic voluntarism, believing and disbelieving are choices that are up to us to make.
  • Thus he steers between determinism and voluntarism, yet he argued an inevitable historical tendency towards equality.
  • The idea of voluntarism - of unfettered individual action - which guides so much of market and social behavior also permeates the culture of love.



Pronunciation: /ˈvɒləntərɪst/
noun& adjective
Example sentences
  • On the other hand, however, he advocates a purely voluntarist model of action: politics is choice, and choice has to be made in a revolutionary fashion, regardless of the state of prevailing economical or social conditions.
  • The origins of this conception go back to Rousseau's insistence - revealingly at variance with his own voluntarist construction of the general will - that a civil religion alone could found the stability of a republic.
  • Economic depressions - such as the depression of 1893-1896 and the Great Depression of the 1930s - only underlined the limits of the voluntarist approach.


Pronunciation: /ˈvɒləntərɪstɪk/
Example sentences
  • A decent society is a voluntaristic one; my country has been the greatest exemplar of such decency; and I'd just as soon have the part of that country where I live lead the way.
  • We will work toward a purely voluntaristic society, while recognizing that no one knows, or can know, whether a complete absence of state-sponsored coercion is possible.
  • However, this study shows that the concrete manifestations of solidarity such as neighborliness, co-operative labor, support in times of crisis, attendance of significant community events, are not so voluntaristic.


Mid 19th century: formed irregularly from voluntary.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: vol¦un¦tar|ism

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