Definition of functionary
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
Recent Examples of functionary from the Web
This 1836 work — in which a witless fop is assumed to be a powerful state functionary by corrupt politicians in the provinces — infuses scathing satire with giddy surrealism.
More recent data-transmission conduits were so slow and unwieldy that some functionaries considered demanding additional hardship pay to use them.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'functionary'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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
FUNCTIONARY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of functionary for English Language Learners
: a person who works for a government or political party
Seen and Heard
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