Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “volunteer”

See all translations

volunteer

noun [C] uk   /ˌvɒl.ənˈtɪər/ us    /ˌvɑː.lənˈtɪr/
B2 a person who does something, especially helping other people, willingly and without being forced or paid to do it: The Health clinic is relying on volunteers to run the office and answer the phones. Since it would be a highly dangerous mission, the Lieutenant asked for volunteers. It's a volunteer army with no paid professionals.
Compare
More examples

volunteer

verb uk   /ˌvɒl.ənˈtɪər/ us    /ˌvɑː.lənˈtɪr/
C1 [I or T] to offer to do something that you do not have to do, often without having been asked to do it and/or without expecting payment: [+ to infinitive] During the emergency many staff volunteered to work through the weekend. I volunteered myself for the post of Health and Safety Representative. My mates volunteered me to do the talking. He volunteered for the army (= he joined even though he did not have to). [T] to give information without being asked: If I were you, I wouldn't volunteer any details of what happened. [+ speech] "I saw her going out of the main entrance at about half past two," he volunteered.
More examples
(Definition of volunteer from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of volunteer?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “volunteer” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

piglet

a baby pig

Word of the Day

I won’t tolerate it! Replacing formal words with phrasal verbs.

by Liz Walter,
April 01, 2015
When you are using a language, it is important to understand if a word is formal or informal, so that you can use it in an appropriate way. You might hear people saying dosh for money, or spud for potato, but they wouldn’t write those words in a formal essay. Similarly, a

Read More 

stackin’ p

March 30, 2015
idiom slang earning a lot of money ‘That’s a very generous present.”Yeah, well, she’s stackin’ p, innit?’

Read More