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 minister (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 Yankila Sherpa, a former minister of parliament, grew up in the remote village of Olangchung Gola, in eastern Nepal. Michael Shapiro, Travel, "In remote Nepal, new roads bring opportunity—and conflict," 30 Dec. 2020 Another rival, Naftali Bennett, a former defense minister who leads the right-wing Yamina party, has also gained traction. Noga Tarnopolsky, Los Angeles Times, "As Israel faces 4th election in 2 years, Netanyahu is in the hot seat again," 28 Dec. 2020 Ibrahim Yacoubou, a former foreign affairs minister who was kicked out of the ruling party because of indiscipline, is campaigning against corruption. Dalatou Mamane, ajc, "Niger votes in presidential, legislative elections," 27 Dec. 2020 The men made a last-ditch effort to avert the vote after popular former cabinet minister Gideon Sa’ar bolted Likud earlier this month to form his own party. Time, "Netanyahu’s Coalition Government Collapses After Budget Bill Failure – Triggering Israel’s 4th Election in 2 Years," 23 Dec. 2020 The New Hope party was started by Gideon Sa'ar, a former Likud education minister, in an effort to challenge Netanyahu's dominance of the right-wing. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Israel heading toward new elections after budget deadline extension vote fails," 22 Dec. 2020 In the run-up to the budget vote, Gideon Saar, a former Likud education minister, shocked his fellow party members by resigning from the Knesset and starting a new party to challenge Netanyahu’s grip on the right wing of Israeli politics. Washington Post, "Israeli government on the verge of collapse after lawmakers fail to reach budget compromise," 22 Dec. 2020 Rafael Ramirez, a former oil minister who worked with Chavez and Maduro from 2003 to 2014, warns that unregulated change now could open the door to economic anarchy where the most powerful set the rules. Stefano Pozzebon, CNN, "Venezuela is quietly quitting socialism," 18 Dec. 2020 Judge Fadi Sawan called Diab and former finance minister Ali Hassan Khalil in for questioning next week, along with former public works ministers Ghazi Zeaiter and Youssef Finianos, state news agency NNA said on Thursday. NBC News, "Beirut explosion: Lebanon's prime minister charged in connection with port blast," 10 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb At a time when church attendance has been steadily declining, Goodwin plans to minister to and pursue people who do not attend church, those who are marginalized, and young people. Darcie Ortique, courant.com, "Darrell Goodwin represents more than 600 churches as the new leader for the United Church of Christ; he has big plans," 27 Dec. 2020 Brandner said a diocesan official told him Highfill would no longer be allowed to publicly minister in Las Vegas. Ramon Antonio Vargas, NOLA.com, "After years of accusations, this retired New Orleans priest is now on a clergy abuse list," 19 Aug. 2020 Haraszthy promised Inama 100 acres of free land to build a church and school, which led Inama to minister in communities throughout the area, including those in what are now Sauk, Iowa, Jefferson, Dodge, Juneau and Waukesha counties. Barry Adams, Star Tribune, "A temporary view in Roxbury as its church gets an upgrade," 17 Aug. 2020 The withholding of public facilities and the refusal to allow a church to minister as a result of a social media ‘like’ implicates freedom of speech in a profound way. al, "Sessions calls on Birmingham agencies to reverse ban on Church of the Highlands," 10 June 2020 Green said the 82-year-old Baptist church has been busy ministering and offering comfort to its members who have been impacted by the coronavirus epidemic. NBC News, "Harlem church mourning 11 members who died from COVID-19," 8 Apr. 2020 Across the country, clergy of all religious traditions are struggling to do some of the most challenging and most personal parts of their job in a time of new restrictions on in-person gatherings: ministering to the sick, the dying and the bereaved. Julie Zauzmer, Anchorage Daily News, "U.S. clergy minister to the sick and dying via FaceTime and Zoom," 2 Apr. 2020 As Italy remains on lockdown until at least April 3, priests across this overwhelmingly Catholic country are being forced to look for alternative ways to minister to their flocks. Francesca Berardi / Turin, Time, "Italy's Catholic Priests Are Finding New Ways to Lead Worship During the Lockdown," 17 Mar. 2020 Torres said the church mollified his family by misleading them about the steps taken to curtail Pinal’s ability to minister. Katie Zavadski, ProPublica, "Dozens of Catholic Priests Credibly Accused of Abuse Found Work Abroad, Some With the Church’s Blessing," 14 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for minister

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for minister

Last Updated

6 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Minister.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/minister. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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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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