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Webster 1913 Edition


Will

Will

,
Noun.
[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
,
Verb.
]
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. 10.
Our prayers should be according to the
will
of God.
Law.
4.
Strong wish or inclination; desire; purpose.
☞ “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?
Shakespeare
The mariner hath his
will
.
Coleridge.
6.
Arbitrary disposal; power to control, dispose, or determine.
Deliver me not over unto the
will
of mine enemies.
Ps. xxvii. 12.
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.
☞ 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 parties.
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. Taylor.
With a will
,
with willingness and zeal; with all one's heart or strength; earnestly; heartily.

Will

,
Verb.
T.
& auxili
ary.
[
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.
vṛ
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].
Chaucer.
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.
Will, auxiliary, may be used elliptically for will go. “I'll to her lodgings.”
Marlowe.
☞ 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.
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.
☞ 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

,
Verb.
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.
☞ 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; – commonly abbreviated to
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

,
Verb.
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
,
Noun.
]
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.
Milton.
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.
Shakespeare
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

,
Verb.
I.
To exercise an act of volition; to choose; to decide; to determine; to decree.
At Winchester he lies, so himself
willed
.
Robert of Brunne.
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.

Webster 1828 Edition


Will

WILL

,
Noun.
[See the Verb.]
1.
That faculty of the mind by which we determine either to do or forbear an action; the faculty which is exercised in deciding, among two or more objects, which we shall embrace or pursue. The will is directed or influenced by the judgment. The understanding or reason compares different objects, which operate as motives; the judgment determines which is preferable, and the will decides which to pursue. In other words, we reason with respect to the value or importance of things; we then judge which is to be preferred; and we will to take the most valuable. These are but different operations of the mind, soul, or intellectual part of man. Great disputes have existed respecting the freedom of the will. Will is often quite a different thing from desire.
A power over a mans subsistence, amounts to a power over his will.
2.
Choice; determination. It is my will to prosecute the trespasser.
3.
Choice; discretion; pleasure.
Go, then, the guilty at thy will chastise.
4.
Command; direction.
Our prayers should be according to the will of God.
5.
Disposition; inclination; desire. What is your will, Sir? In this phrase, the word may also signify determination, especially when addressed to a superior.
6.
Power; arbitrary disposal.
Deliver me not over to the will of my enemies. Psalm 27.
7.
Divine determination; moral purpose or counsel.
Thy will be done. Lords Prayer.
8.
Testament; the disposition of a mans estate, to take effect after his death. Wills are written, or nuncupative, that is, verbal.
Good will,
1.
Favor; kindness.
2.
Right intention. Philippians 1.
Ill will, enmity; unfriendliness. It expresses less than malice.
To have ones will, to obtain what is desired.
At will. 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.
Will with a wisp, Jack with a lantern; ignis fatuus; a luminous appearance sometimes seen in the air over moist ground, supposed to proceed from hydrogen gas.

WILL

,
Verb.
T.
[G., L., Gr. The sense is to set, or to set forward, to stretch forward. The sense is well expressed by the L.]
1.
To determine; to decide int he mind that something shall be done or forborne; implying power to carry the purpose into effect. In this manner God wills whatever comes to pass. So in the style of princes; we will that execution be done.
A man that sits still is said to be at liberty, because he can walk if he will it.
2.
To command; to direct.
Tis yours, O queen! To will the work which duty bids me to fulfill.
3.
To be inclined or resolved to have.
There, there, Hortensio, will you any wife?
4.
To wish; to desire. What will you?
5.
To dispose of estate and effects by testament.
6.
It is sometimes equivalent to may be. Let the circumstances be what they will; that is, any circumstances, of whatever nature.
7.
Will is used as an auxiliary verb, and a sign of the future tense. It has different signification in different persons.
1.
I will go, is a present promise to go; and with an emphasis on will, it expresses determination.
2.
Thou wilt go, you will go, express foretelling; simply stating an event that is to come.
3.
He will go, is also a foretelling. The use of will in the plural, is the same. We will, promises; ye will, they will, foretell.

Definition 2021


Will

Will

See also: will and will-

English

Proper noun

Will

  1. A male given name, a shortening of William; also used as a formal given name.
    • 1598, William Shakespeare, Sonnets, 136
      Make but my name thy love, and love that still, / And then thou lov'st me, - for my name is Will.
    • 1998 Nick Hornby, About A Boy, Victor Gollancz, 1998, ISBN 0575061596, page 208
      One of his neighbours opposite, a nice old guy with a stoop and a horrible little Yorkshire terrier, called him Bill - always had done and presumably always would, right up till the day he died. It actually irritated Will, who was not, he felt, by any stretch of the imagination, a Bill. Bill wouldn't smoke spliffs and listen to Nirvana. So why had he allowed this misapprehension to continue? Why hadn't he just said, four years ago, "Actually my name is Will"?
  2. A patronymic surname.

Related terms

Noun

Will (plural Wills)

  1. (American football) A weak-side linebacker.
    • 1997, F Henderson, M Olson, Football's West Coast Offense, page 7
      Will linebacker drops to turn-in, QB dropping dumps the ball off to HB.
    • 2000, American Football Coaches Association Defensive Football Strategies, page 25
      Our Will linebacker, because he is away from the formation or to the split end, should be a great pursuit man and pass defender.
      Will covers the back side hook zone on the weak side.

See also

will

will

See also: Will and will-

English

Verb

will (third-person singular simple present will, present participle willing, simple past would, past participle -)

  1. (rare, transitive) To wish, desire (something). [9th-18th c.]
    Do what you will.
    • 1601, William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, or What You Will
      Twelfe Night, Or what you will (original spelling)
    • 1944, FJ Sheed, translating St. Augustine, Confessions:
      Grant what Thou dost command, and command what Thou wilt.
  2. (rare, intransitive) To wish or desire (that something happen); to intend (that). [9th-19th c.]
    • a1450, The Macro Playsː
      If thou wilt fare well at meat and meal, come and follow me.
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Matthew XXVI:
      the disciples cam to Jesus sayinge unto hym: where wylt thou that we prepare for the to eate the ester lambe?
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy:
      see God's goodwill toward men, hear how generally his grace is proposed, to him, and him, and them, each man in particular, and to all. 1 Tim. ii. 4. "God will that all men be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth."
  3. (auxiliary) To habitually do (a given action). [from 9th c.]
    • 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus 2010, page 28:
      As young men will, I did my best to appear suave and sophisticated.
    • 2009, Stephen Bayley, The Telegraph, 24 Sep 09:
      How telling is it that many women will volunteer for temporary disablement by wearing high heeled shoes that hobble them?
    • 2011, "Connubial bliss in America", The Economist:
      So far neither side has scored a decisive victory, though each will occasionally claim one.
  4. (auxiliary) To choose to (do something), used to express intention but without any temporal connotations (+ bare infinitive). [from 10th c.]
  5. (auxiliary) Used to express the future tense, sometimes with some implication of volition when used in the first person. Compare shall. [from 10th c.]
    • (Can we date this quote?) William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night Or What You Will, act IV:
      Good fool, as ever thou wilt deserve well at my hand, help me to a candle, and pen, ink and paper : as I am a gentleman, I will live to be thankful to thee for’t.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo, chapter LXXIII:
      “I will rejoin you, and we will fly ; but from this moment until then, let us not tempt Providence, Morrel; let us not see each other; it is a miracle, it is a providence that we have not been discovered; if we were surprised, if it were known that we met thus, we should have no further resource.”
  6. (auxiliary) To be able to, to have the capacity to. [from 14th c.]
    Unfortunately, only one of these gloves will actually fit over my hand.
Usage notes
  • Historically, will was used in the simple future sense only in the second and third person, while shall was used in the first person. Today, that distinction is almost entirely lost, and the verb takes the same form in all persons and both numbers. Similarly, in the intent sense, will was historically used with the second and third person, while shall was reserved for the first person.
  • Historically, the present tense is will and the past tense is would. Early Modern English had a past participle would which is now obsolete.
Malory, ‘Many tymes he myghte haue had her and he had wold’ ; John Done, ‘If hee had would, hee might easily [...] occupied the Monarchy.’
  • Formerly, will could be used elliptically for "will go" e.g. "I'll to her lodgings" (Marlowe).
  • See the usage note at shall.
  • The present participle does not apply to the uses of will as an auxiliary verb.
See also
  • Appendix:English modal verbs
  • Appendix:English tag questions
Translations

Etymology 2

From Middle English wille, from Old English willa (mind, will, determination, purpose, desire, wish, request, joy, delight, pleasure) (compare verb willian), from Proto-Germanic *wiljô (desire, will), from Proto-Indo-European *welh₁- (to choose, wish). Cognate with Dutch wil, German Wille, Swedish vilja. The verb is not always distinguishable from Etymology 1, above.

Noun

will (plural wills)

  1. One's independent faculty of choice; the ability to be able to exercise one's choice or intention. [from 9th c.]
    Of course, man's will is often regulated by his reason.
  2. One's intention or decision; someone's orders or commands. [from 9th c.]
    Eventually I submitted to my parents' will.
  3. The act of choosing to do something; a person’s conscious intent or volition. [from 10th c.]
    Most creatures have a will to live.
    • 2012 May 27, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “New Kid On The Block” (season 4, episode 8; originally aired 11/12/1992)”, in The Onion AV Club:
      The episode’s unwillingness to fully commit to the pathos of the Bart-and-Laura subplot is all the more frustrating considering its laugh quota is more than filled by a rollicking B-story that finds Homer, he of the iron stomach and insatiable appetite, filing a lawsuit against The Frying Dutchman when he’s hauled out of the eatery against his will after consuming all of the restaurant’s shrimp (plus two plastic lobsters).
  4. A formal declaration of one's intent concerning the disposal of one's property and holdings after death; the legal document stating such wishes. [from 14th c.]
    • 1928, Lawrence R. Bourne, chapter 1, in Well Tackled!:
      “Uncle Barnaby was always father and mother to me,” Benson broke in; then after a pause his mind flew off at a tangent. “Is old Hannah all right—in the will, I mean?”
  5. (archaic) That which is desired; one's wish. [from 10th c.]
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.ii:
      I auow by this most sacred head / Of my deare foster child, to ease thy griefe, / And win thy will [...].
  6. (archaic) Desire, longing. (Now generally merged with later senses.) [from 9th c.]
    He felt a great will to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
Usage notes
  • For example a strong will, free will, or independent will.
Derived terms
Translations

Verb

will (third-person singular simple present wills, present participle willing, simple past willed or (rare) would, past participle willed)

  1. (archaic) To wish, desire. [9th–19th c.]
    • Bible, Matthew viii. 2
      And behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
  2. (transitive, intransitive) To instruct (that something be done) in one's will. [from 9th c.]
  3. (transitive) To try to make (something) happen by using one's will (intention). [from 10th c.]
    All the fans were willing their team to win the game.
    • Shakespeare
      They willed me say so, madam.
    • Beaumont and Fletcher
      Send for music, / And will the cooks to use their best of cunning / To please the palate.
  4. (transitive) To bequeath (something) to someone in one's will (legal document). [from 15th c.]
    He willed his stamp collection to the local museum.
Synonyms
Translations

See also

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: said · would · been · #47: will · no · them · when

Cahuilla

Noun

wíll

  1. fat, grease

German

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /vɪl/

Verb

will

  1. First-person singular present of wollen.
  2. Third-person singular present of wollen.