Definition of VOLUNTEER

VOLUNTEER Noun and Verb

Volunteer is both a noun and a verb, referring to an individual who freely offers to undertake a task, service, or responsibility without being compelled to do so by external forces, as well as the act of offering to do so. It denotes someone who willingly contributes their time, effort, skills, or resources to support a cause, organization, or community initiative.

VOLUNTEER as a noun

Service and Contribution: At its core, being a volunteer involves providing service and making a meaningful contribution to a cause or organization. Volunteers typically engage in activities such as assisting with community events, participating in charitable projects, offering support to vulnerable populations, or helping to address social, environmental, or humanitarian issues.

Altruism and Philanthropy: The act of volunteering is often motivated by altruistic intentions and a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others or in society as a whole. It reflects a spirit of generosity, compassion, and social responsibility, where individuals willingly give their time and resources to support those in need or to promote the common good.

Diverse Roles and Responsibilities: Volunteers can serve in a wide range of roles and capacities, depending on the needs of the organization or the nature of the cause they are supporting. This may include tasks such as mentoring and tutoring, fundraising and advocacy, providing medical or humanitarian aid, environmental conservation, disaster relief, or community development initiatives.

Personal Growth and Development: Engaging in volunteer work not only benefits the recipients of the service but also offers valuable opportunities for personal growth and development. Volunteers often acquire new skills, gain valuable experience, and broaden their perspectives through their interactions with diverse communities and environments.

VOLUNTEER as a verb

Collaboration and Teamwork: Volunteering often involves collaboration and teamwork, as individuals come together to work towards a shared goal or objective. Whether working on a local community project or participating in an international humanitarian mission, volunteers learn to cooperate, communicate effectively, and leverage their collective strengths to achieve meaningful outcomes.

Recognition and Appreciation: Volunteers play a vital role in society, and their contributions are widely recognized and appreciated by individuals, organizations, and communities. They are often celebrated for their dedication, commitment, and selflessness in giving back to society and making a positive impact on the lives of others.

Inclusivity and Diversity: Volunteering embraces inclusivity and diversity, welcoming individuals from all backgrounds, ages, abilities, and walks of life to participate and contribute according to their interests and abilities. This diversity enriches the volunteer experience and fosters a sense of unity and solidarity among participants.

In conclusion, volunteering encompasses both the act of offering one’s time and resources to support a cause or organization, as well as the individuals who engage in this activity. Through their altruism, dedication, and collaborative efforts, volunteers play a vital role in addressing social needs, promoting positive change, and building stronger, more resilient communities.

Examples of VOLUNTEER in a sentence

VOLUNTEER as a noun in a sentence

  • The volunteer spent every weekend helping at the animal shelter.
  • They recognized the volunteer for their outstanding service to the community.
  • Each volunteer was given a special badge to wear during the event.
  • The school relies heavily on parent volunteers for extracurricular activities.
  • The volunteer organized a successful fundraising event for the charity.
  • She became a volunteer to give back to her community after retiring.
  • The hospital was grateful for the volunteers who provided companionship to patients.
  • As a volunteer, he felt a deep sense of fulfillment and purpose.

VOLUNTEER as a verb in a sentence

  • She decided to volunteer at the local food bank every Saturday.
  • They volunteered to help clean up the park after the festival.
  • He volunteered to lead the committee for the annual gala.
  • Several employees volunteered to mentor new hires in the company.
  • She always volunteers to organize the neighborhood block party.
  • He volunteered his time and skills to build houses for those in need.
  • They volunteered to assist with disaster relief efforts in the aftermath of the hurricane.
  • The students volunteered at various non-profit organizations as part of their curriculum.

Etymology of VOLUNTEER 

The term volunteer has embarked on a linguistic journey mirroring shifts in social organization, altruistic behavior, and civic engagement over time.

  • Latin Roots: The term originates from the Latin word “voluntarius,” derived from “voluntas,” meaning “will” or “desire.” In its early usage, it denoted someone who freely offered their services or assistance without expectation of compensation.
  • Medieval Influence: During the Middle Ages, the concept of volunteering became intertwined with religious and charitable activities. Volunteers often served in monasteries, hospitals, and other institutions, motivated by religious devotion or a sense of duty to help others.
  • Modern Philanthropy: With the rise of modern philanthropy and social reform movements in the 19th and 20th centuries, volunteering took on new significance as a means of addressing social issues and promoting community welfare. Volunteer organizations and initiatives emerged to mobilize individuals for various causes, from poverty alleviation to environmental conservation.
  • Contemporary Usage: In contemporary usage, a “volunteer” refers to someone who freely offers their time, skills, or resources to support a cause, organization, or community activity. Volunteering is widely recognized as a vital aspect of civil society, contributing to social cohesion, community resilience, and individual well-being.

From its Latin roots through medieval and modern philanthropic movements to its contemporary significance, the term volunteer reflects humanity’s enduring capacity for compassion, empathy, and collective action in pursuit of the common good.


  • Contribute
  • Offer
  • Assist
  • Serve
  • Lend a hand
  • Pitch in
  • Support
  • Aid


  • Demand
  • Require
  • Obligate
  • Compel
  • Coerce
  • Enforce
  • Command
  • Dictate


  • Philanthropy
  • Altruism
  • Unpaid service
  • Charity work
  • Community service
  • Humanitarian effort
  • Civic engagement
  • Uncompensated labor

🌐 🇬🇧 VOLUNTEER in other languages

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