Definitions for: Will

[n] the capability of conscious choice and decision and intention; "the exercise of their volition we construe as revolt"- George Meredith
[n] a fixed and persistent intent or purpose; "where there's a will there's a way"
[n] a legal document declaring a person's wishes regarding the disposal of their property when they die
[v] determine by choice; "This action was willed and intended"
[v] have in mind; "I will take the exam tomorrow"
[v] decree or ordain; "God wills our existence"
[v] leave or give by will after one's death; "My aunt bequeathed me all her jewelry"; "My grandfather left me his entire estate"
[v] be going to; indicates futurity

Webster (1913) Definition: Will, n. [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.]
1. 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.

2. 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.

3. The choice or determination of one who has authority; a
decree; a command; discretionary pleasure.

Thy will be done. --Matt. vi.

Our prayers should be according to the will of God.

4. Strong wish or inclination; desire; purpose.

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.

5. That which is strongly wished or desired.

What's your will, good friar? --Shak.

The mariner hath his will. --Coleridge.

6. Arbitrary disposal; power to control, dispose, or

Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies.
--Ps. xxvii.

7. (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: Wills are written or nuncupative, that is, oral. See
Nuncupative will, under Nuncupative.

At will (Law), at pleasure. To hold an estate at the will
of another, is to enjoy the possession at his pleasure,
and be liable to be ousted at any time by the lessor or
proprietor. An estate at will is at the will of both

Good will. See under Good.

Ill will, enmity; unfriendliness; malevolence.

To have one's will, to obtain what is desired; to do what
one pleases.

Will worship, worship according to the dictates of the will
or fancy; formal worship. [Obs.]

Will worshiper, one who offers will worship. [Obs.] --Jer.

With a will, with willingness and zeal; with all one's
heart or strength; earnestly; heartily.

Will, v. t. & auxiliary. [imp. Would. Indic. present, I
will (Obs. I wol), thou wilt, he will (Obs. he wol); we, ye,
they will.] [OE. willen, imp. wolde; akin to OS. willan,
OFries. willa, D. willen, G. wollen, OHG. wollan, wellan,
Icel. & Sw. vilja, Dan. ville, Goth. wiljan, OSlav. voliti,
L. velle to wish, volo I wish; cf. Skr. v[.r] to choose, to
prefer. Cf. Voluntary, Welcome, Well, adv.]
1. To wish; to desire; to incline to have.

A wife as of herself no thing ne sholde [should]
Wille in effect, but as her husband wolde [would].

Caleb said unto her, What will thou ? --Judg. i. 14.

They would none of my counsel. --Prov. i. 30.

2. As an auxiliary, will is used to denote futurity dependent
on the verb. Thus, in first person, ``I will'' denotes
willingness, consent, promise; and when ``will'' is
emphasized, it denotes determination or fixed purpose; as,
I will go if you wish; I will go at all hazards. In the
second and third persons, the idea of distinct volition,
wish, or purpose is evanescent, and simple certainty is
appropriately expressed; as, ``You will go,'' or ``He will
go,'' describes a future event as a fact only. To
emphasize will denotes (according to the tone or context)
certain futurity or fixed determination.

Note: Will, auxiliary, may be used elliptically for will go.
``I'll to her lodgings.'' --Marlowe.

Note: As in shall (which see), the second and third persons
may be virtually converted into the first, either by
question or indirect statement, so as to receive the
meaning which belongs to will in that person; thus,
``Will you go?'' (answer, ``I will go'') asks assent,
requests, etc.; while ``Will he go?'' simply inquires
concerning futurity; thus, also,``He says or thinks he
will go,'' ``You say or think you will go,'' both
signify willingness or consent.

Note: Would, as the preterit of will, is chiefly employed in
conditional, subjunctive, or optative senses; as, he
would go if he could; he could go if he would; he said
that he would go; I would fain go, but can not; I would
that I were young again; and other like phrases. In the
last use, the first personal pronoun is often omitted;
as, would that he were here; would to Heaven that it
were so; and, omitting the to in such an adjuration.
``Would God I had died for thee.'' Would is used for
both present and future time, in conditional
propositions, and would have for past time; as, he
would go now if he were ready; if it should rain, he
would not go; he would have gone, had he been able.
Would not, as also will not, signifies refusal. ``He
was angry, and would not go in.'' --Luke xv. 28. Would
is never a past participle.

Note: In Ireland, Scotland, and the United States, especially
in the southern and western portions of the United
States, shall and will, should and would, are often
misused, as in the following examples:

I am able to devote as much time and attention to
other subjects as I will [shall] be under the
necessity of doing next winter. --Chalmers.

A countryman, telling us what he had seen,
remarked that if the conflagration went on, as it
was doing, we would [should] have, as our next
season's employment, the Old Town of Edinburgh to
rebuild. --H. Miller.

I feel assured that I will [shall] not have the
misfortune to find conflicting views held by one
so enlightened as your excellency. --J. Y. Mason.

Will, v. i.
To be willing; to be inclined or disposed; to be pleased; to
wish; to desire.

And behold, there came a leper and worshiped him,
saying, Lord if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
And Jesus . . . touched him, saying, I will; be thou
clean. --Matt. viii.
2, 3.

Note: This word has been confused with will, v. i., to
choose, which, unlike this, is of the weak conjugation.

Will I, nill I, or Will ye, hill ye, or {Will he, nill
he}, whether I, you, or he will it or not; hence, without
choice; compulsorily; -- sometimes corrupted into willy
nilly. ``If I must take service willy nilly.'' --J. H.
Newman. ``Land for all who would till it, and reading and
writing will ye, nill ye.'' --Lowell.

Will, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Willed; p. pr. & vb. n.
Willing. Indic. present I will, thou willeth, he wills; we,
ye, they will.] [Cf. AS. willian. See Will, n.]
1. To form a distinct volition of; to determine by an act of
choice; to ordain; to decree. ``What she will to do or
say.'' --Milton.

By all law and reason, that which the Parliament
will not, is no more established in this kingdom.

Two things he [God] willeth, that we should be good,
and that we should be happy. --Barrow.

2. To enjoin or command, as that which is determined by an
act of volition; to direct; to order. [Obs. or R.]

They willed me say so, madam. --Shak.

Send for music, And will the cooks to use their best
of cunning To please the palate. --Beau. & Fl.

As you go, will the lord mayor . . . To attend our
further pleasure presently. --J. Webster.

3. To give or direct the disposal of by testament; to
bequeath; to devise; as, to will one's estate to a child;
also, to order or direct by testament; as, he willed that
his nephew should have his watch.

Will, v. i.
To exercise an act of volition; to choose; to decide; to
determine; to decree.

At Winchester he lies, so himself willed. --Robert of

He that shall turn his thoughts inward upon what passes
in his own mind when he wills. --Locke.

I contend for liberty as it signifies a power in man to
do as he wills or pleases. --Collins.

Synonyms: bequeath, leave, shall, testament, volition, wish

Antonyms: disinherit, disown

See Also: aim, codicil, decide, design, determine, devise, devise, faculty, gift, give, instrument, intend, intent, intention, legal document, legal instrument, make up one's mind, mean, mental faculty, module, New Testament, official document, Old Testament, ordain, pass on, present, purpose, remember, reward, think, velleity

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