ad·​min·​is·​tra·​tor əd-ˈmi-nə-ˌstrā-tər How to pronounce administrator (audio)
: a person legally vested with the right of administration of an estate
: one who administers especially business, school, or governmental affairs
: a person who manages a computer network or system
network administrators
: a priest appointed to administer a diocese or parish temporarily

Example Sentences

Her eldest son will act as the administrator of the estate.
Recent Examples on the Web The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District's new district administrator praised the board's actions since taking power three months ago. Jack Birle, Washington Examiner, 10 May 2023 Teachers refer offenders to an administrator, who may give them a warning, an in-school detention or another punishment. Donna St. George, Anchorage Daily News, 10 May 2023 Village administrators believe, however, that the danger is only temporary and that once the mountain has moved, the village will remain intact. Christopher F. Schuetze, New York Times, 10 May 2023 Beyond that, the state entrusts school administrators to vet people through the application process and to iron out the specifics of what a day on the job might entail. Laura Doan, CBS News, 8 May 2023 And reports claimed that DeSantis was an administrator for a racist Facebook page. Prem Thakker, The New Republic, 8 May 2023 This left school administrators to navigate a dizzying labyrinth of guidance that shifted as time went by. Emily Hoerner, Chicago Tribune, 7 May 2023 Himanshu Shah, the town’s business administrator, quickly directed town employees to respond to the mess: A police officer filed a report, while public works employees disposed of the pasta properly. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 May 2023 The Federal Aviation Administration expects the planned air taxis—electric vehicles designed to fly quietly—to initially buzz around American cities as soon as next year much as helicopters do today, said Billy Nolen, the agency’s acting administrator. Andrew Tangel,, 3 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'administrator.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English administratour, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin administātor "person in charge, manager," from administrāre "to administer" + -tor, agent suffix

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of administrator was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near administrator

Cite this Entry

“Administrator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


ad·​min·​is·​tra·​tor əd-ˈmin-ə-ˌstrāt-ər How to pronounce administrator (audio)
: a person who administers especially business, school, or government affairs

Legal Definition


ad·​min·​i·​stra·​tor əd-ˈmi-nə-ˌstrā-tər How to pronounce administrator (audio)
: a person appointed by a probate court to manage the distribution of the assets in the estate of a person who has died without leaving a valid will or leaving a will that does not name an executor able or willing to perform see also administratrix, letters of administration at letter sense 2 compare executor, personal representative
administrator ad litem
: an administrator appointed to represent an estate that is a necessary party to a lawsuit
administrator cum testamento annexo
: administrator with the will annexed in this entry
administrator de bonis non \ -​dē-​ˈbō-​nis-​ˈnän, -​dā-​ˈbō-​nis-​ˈnōn \
: an administrator appointed to administer the remaining assets in the estate when the preceding administrator or executor can or will no longer perform
administrator pendente lite \ -​pen-​ˈden-​tē-​ˈlī-​tē, -​pen-​ˈden-​tā-​ˈlē-​tā \
: special administrator in this entry
administrator with the will annexed
: an administrator appointed to administer an estate where the will names no executor or where the named executor is incapable of performing or unwilling to perform

called also administrator cum testamento annexo

ancillary administrator
: a subordinate administrator appointed to administer the assets of an estate that are located in a different jurisdiction from the one where the deceased was domiciled and where the primary administration of the estate is taking place
foreign administrator
: an administrator appointed in another state
general administrator
: an administrator appointed to administer the entire estate of a deceased person in accordance with the laws of intestacy or in accordance with the will if there is one compare special administrator in this entry
independent administrator
: an administrator whose administration of the estate is entirely or mostly unsupervised by the probate court
public administrator
: a public officer who administers the estates of deceased people when there is no one else willing or entitled to perform
: an administrator appointed in some states for the sole purpose of being responsible for the assets in an estate pending settlement of a dispute or when there is doubt as to who should be appointed administrator
special administrator
: an administrator appointed to administer only a designated part of the deceased person's estate
: an administrator appointed for the sole purpose of being responsible for the assets in an estate usually in some emergency (as a will contest) compare general administrator in this entry
: a person that administers
especially, often capitalized : the head of a government agency

More from Merriam-Webster on administrator

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