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Reliance on voluntary contributions rather than government funds, as for churches or schools; voluntarism.

vol′un·tar′y·ist n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈvɒləntərɪˌɪzəm; -trɪ-) or


1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the principle of supporting churches, schools, and various other institutions by voluntary contributions rather than with state funds
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) any system based on this principle
ˈvoluntaryist, ˈvoluntarist n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈvɒl ən təˌrɪz əm)

1. any theory that regards will as the fundamental agency or principle, in metaphysics, epistemology, or psychology.
2. the principle or practice of supporting schools, hospitals, churches, etc., by voluntary contributions or aid instead of relying on government assistance.
3. any policy based on voluntary action.
vol′un•ta•rist, n., adj.
vol`un•ta•ris′tic, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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We, who call ourselves voluntaryists, appeal to you to free yourselves from these many systems of State force, which are rendering impossible the true and happy life of the nations of to-day.
Anathema to religious voluntaryists! Should not the wealthiest proprietors in the countryside demonstrate improved methods to the peasants?
(13.) For more on this theme, see Neither Bullets nor Ballots: Essays on Voluntaryism, 1983, or posted back issues of The Voluntaryist at http://users.aol.com/vlntryst/toc.html.

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