Done other than in accordance with the conscious will of the individual. The opposite of voluntary. The terms "voluntary" and "involuntary" apply to the human nervous system and its control over muscles. The nervous system is divided into two parts — somatic and autonomic. The somatic nervous system operates muscles that are under voluntary control. The autonomic (automatic or visceral) nervous system regulates individual organ function and is involuntary. Opening the mouth is voluntary while blushing is involuntary.
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1. Independent of the will; not volitional. 2. Contrary to the will. [L. in- neg. + voluntarius, willing, fr. volo, to wish]

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in·vol·un·tary (')in-'väl-ən-.ter-ē adj not subject to control of the will: REFLEX <\involuntary contractions>

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in·vol·un·tary (in-volґən-tar″e) [L. involuntarius; in against + voluntas will] 1. independent of the will. 2. contrary to the will.

Medical dictionary. 2011.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • involuntary — in·vol·un·tary /in vä lən ˌter ē/ adj: done, made, or initiated contrary to or without one s choice an involuntary confession an involuntary lien an involuntary plaintiff joined in the action in·vol·un·tar·i·ly adv Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of …   Law dictionary

  • Involuntary — In*vol un*ta*ry, a. [L. involuntarius. See {In } not, and {Voluntary}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Not having will or the power of choice. [1913 Webster] 2. Not under the influence or control of the will; not voluntary; as, the involuntary movements of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • involuntary — UK US /ɪnˈvɒləntəri/ adjective ► not done by choice, or not done as a result of someone s decision or intention: »Involuntary unemployment means that you suffer a total loss of salary as the result of the loss of employment. »The number of… …   Financial and business terms

  • involuntary — mid 15c., from L.L. involuntarius involuntary, from in not, opposite of (see IN (Cf. in ) (1)) + L. voluntarius (see VOLUNTARY (Cf. voluntary)). Related: Involuntarily …   Etymology dictionary

  • involuntary — [in väl′ən ter΄ē] adj. [LL involuntarius] not voluntary; specif., a) not done of one s own free will; not done by choice b) unintentional; accidental c) not consciously controlled; automatic [sneezing is involuntary] SYN. SPONTANEOUS… …   English World dictionary

  • involuntary — [adj] automatic; not done willingly automatic, begrudging, blind, compulsory, conditioned, forced, grudging, habitual, impulsive, instinctive, instinctual, knee jerk*, obligatory, reflex, reflexive, reluctant, spontaneous, uncalculated,… …   New thesaurus

  • involuntary — ► ADJECTIVE 1) done without conscious control. 2) (especially of muscles or nerves) concerned in bodily processes that are not under the control of the will. 3) done against someone s will. DERIVATIVES involuntarily adverb involuntariness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • involuntary — Without will or power of choice; opposed to volition or desire. An involuntary act is that which is performed with constraint (q.v.) or with repugnance, or without the will to do it. An action is involuntary, then, which is performed under duress …   Black's law dictionary

  • involuntary — [[t]ɪnvɒ̱ləntri, AM teri[/t]] 1) ADJ If you make an involuntary movement or exclamation, you make it suddenly and without intending to because you are unable to control yourself. Another surge of pain in my ankle caused me to give an involuntary… …   English dictionary

  • involuntary — involuntarily /in vol euhn ter euh lee, vol euhn tair /, adv. involuntariness, n. /in vol euhn ter ee/, adj. 1. not voluntary; independent of one s will; not by one s own choice: an involuntary listener; involuntary servitude. 2. unintentional;… …   Universalium

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