"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[in-vol-uh n-ter-ee] /ɪnˈvɒl ənˌtɛr i/
not voluntary; independent of one's will; not by one's own choice:
an involuntary listener; involuntary servitude.
unintentional; unconscious:
an involuntary gesture.
Physiology. acting independently of or done or occurring without volition:
involuntary muscles.
Origin of involuntary
1525-35; < Late Latin involuntārius. See in-3, voluntary
Related forms
[in-vol-uh n-ter-uh-lee, -vol-uh n-tair-] /ɪnˈvɒl ənˌtɛr ə li, -ˌvɒl ənˈtɛər-/ (Show IPA),
involuntariness, noun
1, 3. See automatic. 2. instinctive. 3. reflex, uncontrolled.
2. intentional. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for involuntarily
  • The patient starts to twitch and involuntarily the tongue starts to twitch, and then the whole body starts to convulse.
  • In pianists, for example, the fingers might clutch inward involuntarily every time they attempt to strike a key.
  • Most interestingly, the brains of rats that had consumed cocaine involuntarily did not show such imprints.
  • No country should be fining people for involuntarily overstaying their visas.
  • My legs twitched involuntarily, the movement an outward manifestation of an impulse to flee.
  • Not to mention they are public employees, so the taxpayers are involuntarily paying their salaries.
  • Yawning involves opening the mouth involuntarily while taking a long, deep breath of air.
  • The proposed rule also would increase the potential compensation for being involuntarily bumped from oversold flights.
  • Always remember to confirm your reservation so you will be eligible for compensation in case you are involuntarily bumped.
  • The history of the right of a state to commit individuals involuntarily is presented.
British Dictionary definitions for involuntarily


/ɪnˈvɒləntərɪ; -trɪ/
carried out without one's conscious wishes; not voluntary; unintentional
(physiol) (esp of a movement or muscle) performed or acting without conscious control
Derived Forms
involuntarily, adverb
involuntariness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for involuntarily



mid-15c., from Late Latin involuntarius "involuntary," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + Latin voluntarius (see voluntary). Related: Involuntarily.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
involuntarily in Medicine

involuntary in·vol·un·tar·y (ĭn-vŏl'ən-těr'ē)

  1. Not subject to control of the volition.

  2. Acting or done without or against one's will.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
involuntarily in Science
Not under conscious control. Most of the biological processes in animals that are vital to life, such as contraction of the heart, blood flow, breathing, and digestion, are involuntary and controlled by the autonomic nervous system.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for involuntary

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for involuntarily

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with involuntarily

Nearby words for involuntarily