Simple Definition of functionary
: a person who works for a government or political party
Full Definition of functionaryplural
1 : one who serves in a certain function
2 : one holding office in a government or political party
Examples of functionary in a sentence
He was a party functionary during the political campaign.
<spoke to high-ranking functionaries at the embassy in the hopes that they could help>
Did You Know?
For most of us, being described as a functionary wouldn't be a compliment. The word refers especially to a person of lower rank, with little or no authority, who must carry out someone else's orders. Bureaucrat is often a synonym. However, functionary can also refer to the world beyond government and offices; a character in a play, for example, could be called a functionary if it was obvious that her sole function was to keep the plot moving.
First Known Use of functionary
Seen and Heard
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