AskDefine | Define involuntary

Dictionary Definition

involuntary adj
1 not subject to the control of the will; "involuntary manslaughter"; "involuntary servitude"; "an involuntary shudder"; "It (becoming a hero) was involuntary. They sank my boat"- John F.Kennedy [syn: nonvoluntary, unvoluntary] [ant: voluntary]
2 controlled by the autonomic nervous system; without conscious control; "involuntary muscles"; "gave an involuntary start" [ant: voluntary]

User Contributed Dictionary



From involontarius, (in- + volontarius)


  1. Without intention; unintentional.
    He involuntarily overheard the conversation.
  2. Not voluntary or willing; contrary or opposed to explicit will or desire; unwilling.
    He found himself the involuntary witness in the trial.


Without intention; unintentional
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