Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Volley noun ; plural Volleys . [ French volée ; flight, a volley, or discharge of several guns, from voler to fly, Latin volare . See Volatile .]
1. A flight of missiles, as arrows, bullets, or the like; the simultaneous discharge of a number of small arms.

Fiery darts in flaming volleys flew.
Milton.

Each volley tells that thousands cease to breathe.
Byron.

2. A burst or emission of many things at once; as, a volley of words. "This volley of oaths." B. Jonson.

Rattling nonsense in full volleys breaks.
Pope.

3. (a) (Tennis) A return of the ball before it touches the ground. (b) (Cricket) A sending of the ball full to the top of the wicket.

Half volley . (a) (Tennis) A return of the ball immediately after is has touched the ground. (b) (Cricket) A sending of the ball so that after touching the ground it flies towards the top of the wicket. R. A. Proctor. -- On the volley , at random. [ Obsolete] "What we spake on the volley begins work." Massinger. -- Volley gun , a gun with several barrels for firing a number of shots simultaneously; a kind of mitrailleuse.

Volley transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Volleyed ; present participle & verbal noun Volleying .] To discharge with, or as with, a volley.

Volley intransitive verb
1. To be thrown out, or discharged, at once; to be discharged in a volley, or as if in a volley; to make a volley or volleys. Tennyson.

2. (a) (Tennis) To return the ball before it touches the ground. (b) (Cricket) To send the ball full to the top of the wicket. R. A. Proctor.

Volley ball A game played by volleying a large inflated ball with the hands over a net 7 ft. 6 in. high.

Volleyed adjective Discharged with a sudden burst, or as if in a volley; as, volleyed thunder.

Volost noun [ Russian volost' .] In the greater part of Russia, a division for local government consisting of a group of mirs, or village communities; a canton.

Volow transitive verb [ From the answer, Volo I will, in the baptismal service. Richardson (Dict.). ] To baptize; -- used in contempt by the Reformers. [ Obsolete] Tyndale.

Volplane intransitive verb [ French vol plané act of volplaning; vol flight + plané , p.p.; confer planer to hover.] (Aëronautics) To glide in a flying machine.

Volt noun [ French volte ; confer Italian volta . See Vault .]


1. (Man.) A circular tread; a gait by which a horse going sideways round a center makes two concentric tracks.

2. (Fencing) A sudden movement to avoid a thrust.

Volt noun [ After Alessandro Volta , the Italian electrician.] (Electricity) The unit of electro-motive force; -- defined by the International Electrical Congress in 1893 and by United States Statute as, that electro-motive force which steadily applied to a conductor whose resistance is one ohm will produce a current of one ampère. It is practically equivalent to &frac1000x1434; the electro- motive force of a standard Clark's cell at a temperature of 15° C.

Volt ampère (Electricity) A unit of electric measurement equal to the product of a volt and an ampere. For direct current it is a measure of power and is the same as a watt; for alternating current it is a measure of apparent power.

Volta noun ; plural Volte . [ Italian volta a turn, turning, a time. See Volt a tread.] (Mus.) A turning; a time; -- chiefly used in phrases signifying that the part is to be repeated one, two, or more times; as, una volta , once. Seconda volta , second time, points to certain modifications in the close of a repeated strain.

Volta-electric adjective Of or pertaining to voltaic electricity, or voltaism.

Volta-electrometer noun An instrument for the exact measurement of electric currents.

Voltage noun (Electricity) Electric potential or potential difference, expressed in volts.

Voltagraphy noun [ Volta ic + - graphy .] In electrotypy, the act or art of copying, in metals deposited by electrolytic action, a form or pattern which is made the negative electrode. [ R.]

Voltaic adjective [ Confer French voltaïque , Italian voltaico .]


1. Of or pertaining to Alessandro Volta , who first devised apparatus for developing electric currents by chemical action, and established this branch of electric science; discovered by Volta ; as, voltaic electricity.

2. Of or pertaining to voltaism, or voltaic electricity; as, voltaic induction; the voltaic arc.

» See the Note under Galvanism .

Voltaic arc , a luminous arc, of intense brilliancy, formed between carbon points as electrodes by the passage of a powerful voltaic current. -- Voltaic battery , an apparatus variously constructed, consisting of a series of plates or pieces of dissimilar metals, as copper and zinc, arranged in pairs, and subjected to the action of a saline or acid solution, by which a current of electricity is generated whenever the two poles, or ends of the series, are connected by a conductor; a galvanic battery. See Battery , 4. (b) , and Note. -- Voltaic circuit . See under Circuit . -- Voltaic couple or element , a single pair of the connected plates of a battery. -- Voltaic electricity . See the Note under Electricity . -- Voltaic pile , a kind of voltaic battery consisting of alternate disks of dissimilar metals, separated by moistened cloth or paper. See 5th Pile . -- Voltaic protection of metals , the protection of a metal exposed to the corrosive action of sea water, saline or acid liquids, or the like, by associating it with a metal which is positive to it, as when iron is galvanized, or coated with zinc.

Voltairean adjective [ Confer French voltairien .] Of or relating to Voltaire , the French author. J. Morley.

Voltairism noun The theories or practice of Voltaire. J. Morley.

Voltaism noun [ Confer French voltaïsme .] (Physics) That form of electricity which is developed by the chemical action between metals and different liquids; voltaic electricity; also, the science which treats of this form of electricity; -- called also galvanism , from Galvani , on account of his experiments showing the remarkable influence of this agent on animals.

Voltameter noun [ Volta ic + - meter .] (Physics) An instrument for measuring the voltaic electricity passing through it, by its effect in decomposing water or some other chemical compound acting as an electrolyte.

Voltammeter noun A wattmeter.

Voltaplast noun [ Volta ic + Greek ... molded.] A form of voltaic, or galvanic, battery suitable for use electrotyping. G. Francis.

Voltatype noun [ Volta ic + type .] An electrotype. [ R.]

Volti imperative. [ Italian , from voltare to turn. See Volt a tread.] (Mus.) Turn, that is, turn over the leaf.

Volti subito [ Italian ] (Mus.) , turn over quickly.

Voltigeur noun [ French, from voltiger to vault, Italian volteggiare . See Volt a tread.]
1. A tumbler; a leaper or vaulter.

2. (Mil.) One of a picked company of irregular riflemen in each regiment of the French infantry.

Voltmeter noun [ 2d volt + - meter .] (elec.) An instrument for measuring in volts the differences of potential between different points of an electrical circuit.

Voltzite noun [ So named in honor of Voltz , a French engineer.] (Min.) An oxysulphide of lead occurring in implanted spherical globules of a yellowish or brownish color; -- called also voltzine .

Volubilate, Volubile adjective [ See Voluble .] Turning, or whirling; winding; twining; voluble.

Volubility noun [ Latin volubilitas : confer French volubilité .] The quality or state of being voluble (in any of the senses of the adjective).

Voluble adjective [ Latin volubilis , from volvere , volutum , to roll, to turn round; akin to Greek ... to infold, to inwrap, ... to roll, German welle a wave: confer French voluble . Confer French Well of water, Convolvulus , Devolve , Involve , Revolt , Vault an arch, Volume , Volute .]


1. Easily rolling or turning; easily set in motion; apt to roll; rotating; as, voluble particles of matter.

2. Moving with ease and smoothness in uttering words; of rapid speech; nimble in speaking; glib; as, a flippant, voluble , tongue.

[ Cassio,] a knave very voluble .
Shak.

» Voluble was used formerly to indicate readiness of speech merely, without any derogatory suggestion. "A grave and voluble eloquence." Bp. Hacket.

3. Changeable; unstable; fickle. [ Obsolete]

4. (Botany) Having the power or habit of turning or twining; as, the voluble stem of hop plants.

Voluble stem (Botany) , a stem that climbs by winding, or twining, round another body.

-- Vol"u*ble*ness , noun -- Vol"u*bly , adverb

Volume noun [ French, from Latin volumen a roll of writing, a book, volume, from volvere , volutum , to roll. See Voluble .]
1. A roll; a scroll; a written document rolled up for keeping or for use, after the manner of the ancients. [ Obsolete]

The papyrus, and afterward the parchment, was joined together [ by the ancients] to form one sheet, and then rolled upon a staff into a volume ( volumen ).
Encyc. Brit.

2. Hence, a collection of printed sheets bound together, whether containing a single work, or a part of a work, or more than one work; a book; a tome; especially, that part of an extended work which is bound up together in one cover; as, a work in four volumes .

An odd volume of a set of books bears not the value of its proportion to the set.
Franklin.

4. Anything of a rounded or swelling form resembling a roll; a turn; a convolution; a coil.

So glides some trodden serpent on the grass,
And long behind wounded volume trails.
Dryden.

Undulating billows rolling their silver volumes .
W. Irving.

4. Dimensions; compass; space occupied, as measured by cubic units, that is, cubic inches, feet, yards, etc.; mass; bulk; as, the volume of an elephant's body; a volume of gas.

5. (Mus.) Amount, fullness, quantity, or caliber of voice or tone.

Atomic volume , Molecular volume (Chemistry) , the ratio of the atomic and molecular weights divided respectively by the specific gravity of the substance in question. -- Specific volume (Physics & Chem.) , the quotient obtained by dividing unity by the specific gravity; the reciprocal of the specific gravity. It is equal (when the specific gravity is referred to water at 4° C. as a standard) to the number of cubic centimeters occupied by one gram of the substance.

Volumed adjective
1. Having the form of a volume, or roil; as, volumed mist.

The distant torrent's rushing sound
Tells where the volumed cataract doth roll.
Byron.

2. Having volume, or bulk; massive; great.

Volumenometer noun [ Latin volumen volume + -meter .] (Physics) An instrument for measuring the volume of a body, especially a solid, by means of the difference in tension caused by its presence and absence in a confined portion of air.

Volumenometry noun (Chem. & Physics) The method or process of measuring volumes by means of the volumenometer.

Volumescope noun [ Volume + - scope .] (Physics) An instrument consisting essentially of a glass tube provided with a graduated scale, for exhibiting to the eye the changes of volume of a gas or gaseous mixture resulting from chemical action, and the like.

Volumeter noun [ Confer French volumètre . See Volumetric .] (Physics) An instrument for measuring the volumes of gases or liquids by introducing them into a vessel of known capacity.

Volumetric adjective [ Volume + - metric .] Of or pertaining to the measurement of volume.

Volumetric analysis (Chemistry) , that system of the quantitative analysis of solutions which employs definite volumes of standardized solutions of reagents, as measured by burettes, pipettes, etc.; also, the analysis of gases by volume, as by the eudiometer.

Volumetrical adjective Volumetric. -- Vol`u*met"ric*al*ly , adverb

Voluminous adjective [ Latin voluminosus : confer French volumineux .] Of or pertaining to volume or volumes. Specifically: --

(a) Consisting of many folds, coils, or convolutions.

But ended foul in many a scaly fold,
Voluminous and vast.
Milton.

Over which dusky draperies are hanging, and voluminous curtains have long since fallen.
De Quincey.

(b) Of great volume, or bulk; large. B. Jonson.

(c) Consisting of many volumes or books; as, the collections of Muratori are voluminous .

(d) Having written much, or produced many volumes; copious; diffuse; as, a voluminous writer.

-- Vo*lu"mi*nous*ly , adverb -- Vo*lu"mi*nous*ness , noun

Volumist noun One who writes a volume; an author. [ Obsolete] Milton.

Voluntarily adverb In a voluntary manner; of one's own will; spontaneously.

Voluntariness noun The quality or state of being voluntary; spontaneousness; specifically, the quality or state of being free in the exercise of one's will.

Voluntarism noun Any theory which conceives will to be the dominant factor in experience or in the constitution of the world; -- contrasted with intellectualism . Schopenhauer and Fichte are typical exponents of the two types of metaphysical voluntarism, Schopenhauer teaching that the evolution of the universe is the activity of a blind and irrational will, Fichte holding that the intelligent activity of the ego is the fundamental fact of reality.

Voluntary adjective [ Latin voluntarius , from voluntas will, choice, from the root of velle to will, present participle volens ; akin to English will : confer French volontaire , Of. also voluntaire . See Will , transitive verb , and confer Benevolent , Volition , Volunteer .]
1. Proceeding from the will; produced in or by an act of choice.

That sin or guilt pertains exclusively to voluntary action is the true principle of orthodoxy.
N. W. Taylor.

2. Unconstrained by the interference of another; unimpelled by the influence of another; not prompted or persuaded by another; done of his or its own accord; spontaneous; acting of one's self, or of itself; free.

Our voluntary service he requires.
Milton.

She fell to lust a voluntary prey.
Pope.

3. Done by design or intention; intentional; purposed; intended; not accidental; as, if a man kills another by lopping a tree, it is not voluntary manslaughter.

4. (Physiol.) Of or pertaining to the will; subject to, or regulated by, the will; as, the voluntary motions of an animal, such as the movements of the leg or arm (in distinction from involuntary motions, such as the movements of the heart); the voluntary muscle fibers, which are the agents in voluntary motion.

5. Endowed with the power of willing; as, man is a voluntary agent.

God did not work as a necessary, but a voluntary , agent, intending beforehand, and decreeing with himself, that which did outwardly proceed from him.
Hooker.

6. (Law) Free; without compulsion; according to the will, consent, or agreement, of a party; without consideration; gratuitous; without valuable consideration.

7. (Eccl.) Of or pertaining to voluntaryism; as, a voluntary church, in distinction from an established or state church.

Voluntary affidavit or oath (Law) , an affidavit or oath made in extrajudicial matter. - - Voluntary conveyance (Law) , a conveyance without valuable consideration. -- Voluntary escape (Law) , the escape of a prisoner by the express consent of the sheriff. -- Voluntary jurisdiction . (Eng. Eccl. Law) See Contentious jurisdiction , under Contentious . -- Voluntary waste . (Law) See Waste , noun , 4.

Syn. -- See Spontaneous .

Voluntary noun ; plural Voluntaries
1. One who engages in any affair of his own free will; a volunteer. [ R.] Shak.

2. (Mus.) A piece played by a musician, often extemporarily, according to his fancy; specifically, an organ solo played before, during, or after divine service.

3. (Eccl.) One who advocates voluntaryism.

Voluntaryism noun (Eccl.) The principle of supporting a religious system and its institutions by voluntary association and effort, rather than by the aid or patronage of the state.

Volunteer noun [ French volontaire . See Voluntary , adjective ]


1. One who enters into, or offers for, any service of his own free will.

2. (Mil.) One who enters into service voluntarily, but who, when in service, is subject to discipline and regulations like other soldiers; -- opposed to conscript ; specifically, a voluntary member of the organized militia of a country as distinguished from the standing army.

3. (Law) A grantee in a voluntary conveyance; one to whom a conveyance is made without valuable consideration; a party, other than a wife or child of the grantor, to whom, or for whose benefit, a voluntary conveyance is made. Burrill.

Volunteer adjective Of or pertaining to a volunteer or volunteers; consisting of volunteers; voluntary; as, volunteer companies; volunteer advice.

Volunteer transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Volunteered ; present participle & verbal noun Volunteering .] To offer or bestow voluntarily, or without solicitation or compulsion; as, to volunteer one's services.

Volunteer intransitive verb To enter into, or offer for, any service of one's own free will, without solicitation or compulsion; as, he volunteered in that undertaking.