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
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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