c. 1600, "one who offers himself for military service," from French voluntaire, "one who volunteers," also as an adjective, "voluntary," from Latin voluntarius "voluntary, of one's free will," as a plural noun "volunteers" (see voluntary). Non-military sense is first recorded 1630s. As an adjective from 1640s. Tennessee has been the Volunteer State since the Mexican War, when a call for 2,800 volunteers brought out 30,000 men.
"short, quick, forward and downward motion of the head," voluntary or not, 1530s, from nod (v.).
1640s, "the act of condescending, a voluntary inclining to equality with inferiors," from Late Latin condescensionem, noun of action from past-participle stem of condescendere "to let oneself down" (see condescend).
in the philosophical sense of "voluntary agency" (embracing desire and volition), 1836, from Latin conationem (nominative conatio) "an endeavoring, effort," noun of action from past participle stem of conari "to endeavor, to try," from PIE *kona-, from root *ken- "to hasten, set oneself in motion" (see deacon).
early 15c., "voluntary," from Late Latin electivus, from elect-, past-participle stem of eligere "to pick out, choose" (see election). In U.S., in reference to school subjects studied at the student's choice, first recorded 1847. As a noun, from 1701.