Example sentence:

I want to do this of my own free will/volition.

Do they mean the same? If so, is one word more formal than the other (e.g. used in everyday speech)?

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    In your exact context, free will is far more common, but they mean the same, and I don't think "formal / informal" is particularly relevant here anyway. But there are other contexts, and this might help: In philosophy and theology, the terms free will and volition are often NOT used synonymously, but do convey related ideas. Unless misused, the term free will communicates a sense of absolute, autonomous, 'libertarian' or unbounded freedom, whereas volition simply implies power of choice. Commented Nov 27, 2020 at 13:07
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    I think free will is more likely to be used in everyday language.
    – mdewey
    Commented Nov 27, 2020 at 13:12
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    Educated people know what volition means. A large percentage of people would have no idea. Here's a comparison of usage in printed works (volition would be much rarer in conversation). books.google.com/ngrams/… Commented Nov 27, 2020 at 13:40

1 Answer 1


"Free Will" is the mental concept and discussed what actually it is among scholars such as philosophers.

"Volition" is your innate power to make a choice.

"Free will" seems to be used on one's own mind. However, "Volition" sounds as if you are a vehicle which is driven by a motor.

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