minister

noun
min·​is·​ter | \ ˈmi-nə-stər How to pronounce minister (audio) \

Definition of minister

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : agent the angels are ministers of the divine will— H. P. Liddon
2a : one officiating or assisting the officiant in church worship
b : a clergyman or clergywoman especially of a Protestant communion
3a : the superior (see superior entry 2 sense 1) of one of several religious orders

called also minister-general

b : the assistant to the rector or the bursar of a Jesuit house
4 : a high officer of state entrusted with the management of a division of governmental activities the British Minister of Defence
5a : a diplomatic representative (such as an ambassador) accredited to the court (see court entry 1 sense 1c) or seat of government of a foreign state
b : a diplomatic representative ranking below an ambassador

minister

verb
ministered; ministering\ ˈmi-​nə-​st(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce ministering (audio) \

Definition of minister (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to function as a minister of religion
2 : to give aid or service minister to the sick

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Examples of minister in a Sentence

Noun the British ministers at the international peace conference our minister gives an interesting sermon every week
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Conservative politicians in South Korea are shaving their heads in protest over the government's newest justice minister after several accusations of academic and financial corruption were leveled against him and his family. Fox News, "South Korean opposition shave their heads in protest over justice minister," 17 Sep. 2019 Also running are two longtime politicians: Moncef Marzouki, the nation’s interim president after the revolution, who oversaw the transition to democracy, and former defense minister Abdelkarim Zbidi. BostonGlobe.com, "People across the North African nation dubbed the cradle of the Arab Spring streamed throughout the day into polling stations that opened up at 8 a.m. Tunisians are choosing from among 26 candidates who represent a wide spectrum of political, social, and religious views.," 16 Sep. 2019 The British press made note of the 'Godfather' reference days after the interview when Johnson ruthlessly fired 11 senior ministers after winning the leadership election, one of the biggest culls in British history. NBC News, "'The Godfather' director dismayed he may have inspired Boris Johnson's Brexit plan," 13 Sep. 2019 Over 54,000 people died in road accidents on national highways in 2018, according to road transport minister Nitin Gadkari. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "India’s road safety should be paved with behavioural change, not heavy fines," 12 Sep. 2019 The Tokyo Electric Power Co, also known as TEPCO, should dump radioactive water from the destroyed plant into the Pacific Ocean, says environmental minister Yoshiaki Harada. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Would Japan Dump Radioactive Water Into the Pacific Ocean?," 12 Sep. 2019 Canadian banks helped scuttle LSE’s acquisition of the Toronto Stock Exchange—a merger that was opposed by Canada’s finance minister. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "Hong Kong’s attempted buyout of London Stock Exchange is the most audacious in history," 11 Sep. 2019 At a press conference with business leaders on Monday, South Africa’s police minister Bheki Cele tried to deemphasize the role of xenophobia in the attacks saying the police were focused on criminality by all actors regardless of nationality. Yinka Adegoke, Quartz Africa, "Hundreds of Nigerians are taking up the government’s offer to be evacuated from South Africa," 10 Sep. 2019 Several scientists suspect a link between their departure and a visit to Frey by politician and former environmental activist Emmy Hafild—who supports the dam—and former environment minister Sonny Keraf. Dyna Rochmyaningsih, Science | AAAS, "A dam threatens the world’s rarest ape. Why are some conservationists suddenly on board?," 10 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The worldwide United Methodist Church, led largely by members in conservative African nations, voted earlier this year to strictly enforce 1970s-era bans on LGBTQ members, with harsh penalties for clergy who minister to them or perform marriages. John D'anna, azcentral, "Spiritual leader of Arizona Methodists calls flock to action on gun violence, racism," 7 Aug. 2019 Before becoming auxiliary bishop for Baltimore, Brennan spent decades ministering to immigrants, including 19 years celebrating Mass and administering the sacraments in English and Spanish at parishes in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. Jonathan Pitts, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore auxiliary bishop to bring pastoral ways to a West Virginia diocese troubled by scandal," 23 July 2019 Anyone with information concerning abuse by anyone ministering through Glenmary or the Diocese of Covington is asked to call either Dorsey at 513-881-7402 or Margaret Schack, a diocesan safe environment director, at 859-392-1500. Max Londberg, Cincinnati.com, "Kentucky priest accused of inappropriately touching two girls, Diocese of Covington says," 8 Aug. 2019 The surveillance has severely interfered with her ability to minister to migrant and refugee communities who have fled violence and corruption and are distrustful of the government, according to the lawsuit. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Pastor sues DHS over government surveillance program targeting migrant advocates," 9 July 2019 In 1984 or 1985, Obst’s friend, the producer Howard Rosenman, invited her to a church in Los Angeles to see a speaker who had begun ministering to the gay men of West Hollywood in the early years of the AIDS epidemic. Emily Witt, The New Yorker, "Marianne Williamson Wants Politics to Enter the New Age," 14 Aug. 2019 In her lifetime Shirley ministered in 41 different nations throughout the world, both as a teacher and an intercessor. orlandosentinel.com, "Deaths in Central Florida: 8/7," 7 Aug. 2019 The scenes in the two cities were quite similar: pastors from Nigeria or Congo ministered to economic migrants from their native countries, offering a connection with home in a familiar style. Erasmus, The Economist, "Why charismatic Christianity is popular with migrants," 3 Aug. 2019 Hart, who ministers to churches in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, knew the procession was a terrible sign. Jim Morrison, Washington Post, "Virginia Beach vigil sends a message of ‘unity’," 6 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'minister.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of minister

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for minister

Noun

Middle English ministre "servant, ecclesiastic, priest, official serving a superior, agent," borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Medieval Latin minister "servant, ecclesiastic (short for Deī minister "servant of god"), agent, official," going back to Latin, "servant, priest's attendant, agent," formed from minor-, minus "less, lesser" (with the suffix of location and opposition -ter) after magister "manager, master entry 1" — more at minus entry 1

Verb

Middle English ministren, borrowed from Anglo-French ministrer, borrowed from Latin ministrāre "to act as a servant, serve, supply" (Late Latin, "to serve as an ecclesiastic"), derivative of minister "servant, minister entry 1"

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Statistics for minister

Last Updated

31 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for minister

The first known use of minister was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for minister

minister

noun
How to pronounce minister (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of minister

: a person whose job involves leading church services, performing religious ceremonies (such as marriages), and providing spiritual or religious guidance to other people : a member of the clergy in some Protestant churches
: an official who heads a government department or a major section of a department in some countries (such as Britain)
: a person who represents his or her own government while living in a foreign country

minister

noun
min·​is·​ter | \ ˈmi-nə-stər How to pronounce minister (audio) \

Kids Definition of minister

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person who performs religious ceremonies especially in Protestant church services
2 : a government official at the head of a section of government activities minister of education
3 : a person who represents his or her government in a foreign country

minister

verb
ministered; ministering

Kids Definition of minister (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give help or care minister to the sick

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