- Philosophy. any theory that regards will as the fundamental agency or principle, in metaphysics, epistemology, or psychology.
- the principle or practice of supporting churches, schools, hospitals, etc., by voluntary contributions or aid instead of relying on government assistance.
- any policy or practice based on voluntary action.
- philosophy the theory that the will rather than the intellect is the ultimate principle of reality
- a doctrine or system based on voluntary participation in a course of action
- the belief that the state, government, and the law should not interfere with the procedures of collective bargaining and of trade union organization
- another name for voluntaryism
1838, in philosophy, from voluntary + -ism. As the theory or principal of using voluntary action rather than coercion (in politics, etc.), from 1924, American English (Voluntaryism in this sense is recorded from 1883).