April 16, 2012
volunteer (noun)
\vah-lun-TEER\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a person who offers to do a service
How do you use it?
The magician needed a volunteer from the audience to perform her next trick.
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When did the word "volunteer" first appear in English?

The English word "volunteer" first appeared around 1600, and was from the obsolete French word "voluntaire." The French word was used of someone who volunteered for military service (as opposed to those who were required to serve in the military), and this is the earliest English meaning of "volunteer" as well. It was such a useful and popular word that it didn't take too long before "volunteer" was broadened to mean "a person who offers to do a service."
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