at will

will

2 [wil]
noun
1.
the faculty of conscious and especially of deliberate action; the power of control the mind has over its own actions: the freedom of the will.
2.
power of choosing one's own actions: to have a strong or a weak will.
3.
the act or process of using or asserting one's choice; volition: My hands are obedient to my will.
4.
wish or desire: to submit against one's will.
5.
purpose or determination, often hearty or stubborn determination; willfulness: to have the will to succeed.
6.
the wish or purpose as carried out, or to be carried out: to work one's will.
7.
disposition, whether good or ill, toward another.
8.
Law.
a.
a legal declaration of a person's wishes as to the disposition of his or her property or estate after death, usually written and signed by the testator and attested by witnesses.
b.
the document containing such a declaration.
verb (used with object), willed, willing.
9.
to decide, bring about, or attempt to effect or bring about by an act of the will: He can walk if he wills it.
10.
to purpose, determine on, or elect, by an act of will: If he wills success, he can find it.
11.
to give or dispose of (property) by a will or testament; bequeath or devise.
12.
to influence by exerting will power: She was willed to walk the tightrope by the hypnotist.
verb (used without object), willed, willing.
13.
to exercise the will: To will is not enough, one must do.
14.
to decide or determine: Others debate, but the king wills.
Idioms
15.
at will,
a.
at one's discretion or pleasure; as one desires: to wander at will through the countryside.
b.
at one's disposal or command.

Origin:
before 900; (noun) Middle English will(e), Old English will(a); cognate with Dutch wil, German Wille, Old Norse vili, Gothic wilja; (v.) Middle English willen, Old English willian to wish, desire, derivative of the noun; akin to will1

willer, noun


3. choice. 4. pleasure, disposition, inclination. 5. resolution, decision. Will, volition refer to conscious choice as to action or thought. Will denotes fixed and persistent intent or purpose: Where there's a will there's a way. Volition is the power of forming an intention or the incentive for using the will: to exercise one's volition in making a decision. 9. determine. 11. leave.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
will1 (wɪl)
 
vb (takes an infinitive without to or an implied infinitive) (esp with you, he, she, it, they, or a noun as subject) , past would
1.  Compare shall used as an auxiliary to make the future tense
2.  used as an auxiliary to express resolution on the part of the speaker: I will buy that radio if it's the last thing I do
3.  used as an auxiliary to indicate willingness or desire: will you help me with this problem?
4.  used as an auxiliary to express compulsion, as in commands: you will report your findings to me tomorrow
5.  used as an auxiliary to express capacity or ability: this rope will support a load
6.  used as an auxiliary to express probability or expectation on the part of the speaker: that will be Jim telephoning
7.  used as an auxiliary to express customary practice or inevitability: boys will be boys
8.  (with the infinitive always implied) used as an auxiliary to express desire: usually in polite requests: stay if you will
9.  what you will whatever you like
10.  informal will do a declaration of willingness to do what is requested
 

will2 (wɪl)
 
n
1.  the faculty of conscious and deliberate choice of action; volitionRelated: voluntary, volitive
2.  the act or an instance of asserting a choice
3.  a.  the declaration of a person's wishes regarding the disposal of his or her property after deathRelated: testamentary
 b.  a revocable instrument by which such wishes are expressed
4.  anything decided upon or chosen, esp by a person in authority; desire; wish
5.  determined intention: where there's a will there's a way
6.  disposition or attitude towards others: he bears you no ill will
7.  at will at one's own desire, inclination, or choice
8.  with a will heartily; energetically
9.  with the best will in the world even with the best of intentions
 
vb
10.  (also intr) to exercise the faculty of volition in an attempt to accomplish (something): he willed his wife's recovery from her illness
11.  to give (property) by will to a person, society, etc: he willed his art collection to the nation
12.  (also intr) to order or decree: the king wills that you shall die
13.  to choose or prefer: wander where you will
14.  to yearn for or desire: to will that one's friends be happy
 
Related: voluntary, volitive, testamentary
 
[Old English willa; related to Old Norse vili, Old High German willeo (German Wille), Gothic wilja, Old Slavonic volja]
 
'willer2
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

will
O.E. *willan, wyllan "to wish, desire, want" (past tense wolde), from P.Gmc. *welljan (cf. O.S. willian, O.N. vilja, O.Fris. willa, Du. willen, O.H.G. wellan, Ger. wollen, Goth. wiljan "to will, wish, desire," Goth. waljan "to choose"), from PIE *wel-/*wol- "be pleasing" (cf. Skt. vrnoti "chooses, prefers,"
varyah "to be chosen, eligible, excellent," varanam "choosing;" Avestan verenav- "to wish, will, choose;" Gk. elpis "hope;" L. volo, velle "to wish, will, desire;" O.C.S. voljo, voliti "to will," veljo, veleti "to command;" Lith. velyti "to wish, favor," pa-vel-mi "I will," viliuos "I hope;" Welsh gwell "better"). Cf. also O.E. wel "well," lit. "according to one's wish;" wela "well-being, riches." The use as a future auxiliary was already developing in O.E. The implication of intention or volition distinguishes it from shall, which expresses or implies obligation or necessity. Contracted forms, especially after pronouns, began to appear 16c., as in sheele for "she will." The form with an apostrophe is from 17c.

will
O.E. will, willa, from P.Gmc. *weljon (cf. O.S. willio, O.N. vili, O.Fris. willa, Du. wil, O.H.G. willio, Ger. wille, Goth. wilja "will"), related to *willan "to wish" (see will (v.)). The meaning "written document expressing a person's wishes about disposition of property
after death" is first recorded c.1380.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

at will

Freely, as one pleases, as in The grounds are open to the public and one can wander about at will, or With this thermostat you can adjust the room temperature at will. [1300s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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