verb or·dain \r-ˈdān\

: to officially make (someone) a minister, priest, rabbi, etc.

: to officially establish or order (something)

Full Definition of ORDAIN

transitive verb
:  to invest officially (as by the laying on of hands) with ministerial or priestly authority
a :  to establish or order by appointment, decree, or law :  enact <we the people … do ordain and establish this Constitution — United States Constitution>
b :  destine, foreordain
intransitive verb
:  to issue an order
or·dain·er noun
or·dain·ment \-ˈdān-mənt\ noun

Examples of ORDAIN

  1. She is an ordained minister.
  2. The process was ordained by law.

Origin of ORDAIN

Middle English ordeinen, from Anglo-French ordener, ordeiner, from Late Latin ordinare, from Latin, to put in order, appoint, from ordin-, ordo order
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Christian Religious Terms

Pentateuch, blasphemy, curate, doxology, eremite, iconoclasm, liturgy, orison, pneuma, reliquary
ORDAINER Defined for Kids


verb or·dain \r-ˈdān\

Definition of ORDAIN for Kids

:  2decree <It was ordained by law.>
:  to make a person a Christian minister or priest by a special ceremony


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