1. Proceding from natural
feeling, temperament, or disposition, or from a native inside
proneness, readiness, or tendency, without
constraint; as, a spontaneous
present or proportion.
2. Proceeding from, or acting by, inside
impulse, energy, or natural
law, without outside
force; as, spontaneous
3. Produced without being
planted, or without human
labour; as, a spontaneous growth
of tree. Spontaneous combustion, combustion
produced in a stuff by the evolution
of heat through
the chemical action
of its own
elements; as, the spontaneous combustion
of waste matter saturated
with oil. Spontaneous generation.
Synonym: Voluntary, uncompelled, willing.
Spontaneous, Voluntary. What is voluntary is the result of a volition, or act of choice; it therefore implies some degree of consideration, and may be the result of mere cause without excited feeling. What is spontaneous springs wholly from feeling, or a sudden impulse which admits of no reflection; as, a spontaneous burst of applause. Hence, the term is also applied to things inanimate when they are produced without the determinate purpose or care of man. "Abstinence which is but voluntary fasting, and . . . Exercice which is but voluntary labour." "Spontaneous joys, where character has its play, The soul adopts, and owns their firstborn away." (Goldsmith) Sponta"neously, Sponta"neousness.
Origin: L. Spontaneus, fr. Sponte of free will, voluntarily.
Source: Websters Vocabulary