- The power of choosing; the faculty or endowment of the soul by which it is capable of choosing; the faculty or power of the mind by which we decide to do or not to do; the power or faculty of preferring or selecting one of two or more objects."It is necessary to form a distinct notion of what is meant by the word “volition” in order to understand the import of the word will, for this last word expresses the power of mind of which “volition” is the act." [Stewart.]" Will is an ambiguous word, being sometimes put for the faculty of willing; sometimes for the act of that faculty, besides [having] other meanings. But “volition” always signifies the act of willing, and nothing else." [Reid.]"Appetite is the will's solicitor, and the will is appetite's controller; what we covet according to the one, by the other we often reject." [Hooker.]"The will is plainly that by which the mind chooses anything." [J. Edwards.]
- The choice which is made; a determination or preference which results from the act or exercise of the power of choice; a volition."The word “will,” however, is not always used in this its proper acceptation, but is frequently substituted for “volition”, as when I say that my hand mover in obedience to my will." [Stewart.]
- The choice or determination of one who has authority; a decree; a command; discretionary pleasure."Thy will be done." [Matt. vi. 10.]"Our prayers should be according to the will of God." [Law.]
- Strong wish or inclination; desire; purpose.
- That which is strongly wished or desired."What's your will, good friar?" [Shak.]"The mariner hath his will." [Coleridge.]
- Arbitrary disposal; power to control, dispose, or determine."Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies." [Ps. xxvii. 12.]
- [Law] The legal declaration of a person's mind as to the manner in which he would have his property or estate disposed of after his death; the written instrument, legally executed, by which a man makes disposition of his estate, to take effect after his death; testament; devise. See the Note under Testament, 1.
Note: ☞ “ Inclination is another word with which will is frequently confounded. Thus, when the apothecary says, in Romeo and Juliet,"My poverty, but not my will, consents; . . . Put this in any liquid thing you will, And drink it off." the word will is plainly used as, synonymous with inclination; not in the strict logical sense, as the immediate antecedent of action. It is with the same latitude that the word is used in common conversation, when we speak of doing a thing which duty prescribes, against one's own will; or when we speak of doing a thing willingly or unwillingly.” Stewart.
Note: ☞ Wills are written or nuncupative, that is, oral. See Nuncupative will, under Nuncupative.
Etymology: OE. wille, AS. willa; akin to OFries. willa, OS. willeo willio, D. wil, G. wille, Icel. vili, Dan. villie, Sw. vilja, Goth wilja. See Will (v.)