ministry

noun
min·​is·​try | \ ˈmi-nə-strē How to pronounce ministry (audio) \
plural ministries

Definition of ministry

1 : ministration the ingenuity of destruction … had outrun the ministry of healing— Dixon Wecter
2 : the office, duties, or functions of a minister was well prepared for the ministry
3 : the body of ministers of religion : clergy joined the Presbyterian ministry
4 : a person or thing through which something is accomplished : agency, instrumentality heroic believers become such by the ministry of heroic pain— Austin Phelps
5 : the period of service or office of a minister or ministry Many reforms were enacted during his ministry.

6 often capitalized

a : the body of ministers governing a nation or state from which a smaller cabinet (see cabinet entry 1 sense 3b) is sometimes selected
b : the group of ministers constituting a cabinet
7a : a government department presided over by a minister the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
b : the building in which the business of a ministry is transacted

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of ministry in a Sentence

a member of the ministry She learned a lot during her first year of ministry.

Recent Examples on the Web

The person, who was not identified by the Canadians, was arrested last week in the eastern Chinese city of Yantai, according to Global Affairs Canada, the country’s foreign ministry. Jane Perlez, BostonGlobe.com, "China arrests another Canadian, adding to diplomatic tensions," 14 July 2019 Turkey’s defense ministry tweeted Saturday the landing of a fourth Russian cargo plane in Murted Air Base, near the capital, Ankara. Washington Post, "Turkey continues receiving Russian S-400 air defense parts," 13 July 2019 After college, Burns returned to pleasant Ridge Park briefly to teach and coach, but left to pursue vocational ministry in the church. Robert Rimpson, The Courier-Journal, "Pleasure Ridge Park baseball hires 'Baseball Pastor' Brad Burns as head coach," 12 July 2019 The church has ministries that fight climate change, support immigrants seeking asylum in the United States and help former prisoners after incarceration. New York Times, "Pastor’s Exit Exposes Cultural Rifts at a Leading Liberal Church," 11 July 2019 These are fairly typical pro-life Christian ministries, but some of its other programs might be a bit more surprising. Alexandra Desanctis, National Review, "The Church Challenging Washington State’s One-Size-Fits-All Abortion Requirement," 10 July 2019 The Archdiocese of San Antonio credits Garcia with boosting Sunday church attendance and collections at each of the four parishes where he was assigned, and with empowering lay leaders, expanding ministries and creating new ones. Scott Huddleston, ExpressNews.com, "Father David’s role grew from San Antonio parish priest to major community leader," 8 July 2019 There is only one service now instead of two, which has made getting volunteers to help with the church’s ministries more difficult. Ashlyn Rollins, The Mercury News, "‘When will this end?’ Months after Camp Fire, living in Paradise still feels like ‘everybody’s in crisis’," 7 July 2019 China’s foreign ministry lashed back Wednesday at criticism by Britain’s foreign secretary on the recent protests in Hong Kong, saying the region’s former ruling power had no right to weigh in on their affairs. Fox News, "China accuses UK of 'basking in the faded glory of British colonialism' after Hong Kong criticism," 4 July 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of ministry

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ministry

Middle English ministerie, minstri "personal service, religious office, position in a church," borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French ministere "service, duty," going back to Old French, borrowed from Latin ministerium "activity of a servant, duty, task, support" (Late Latin, "ecclesiastical service") from minister "servant, minister entry 1" + -ium, denominal suffix of occupations

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ministry

Statistics for ministry

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ministry

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ministry

ministry

noun

English Language Learners Definition of ministry

: religious leaders as a group : ministers as a group
: the office, duties, or work of a religious minister
: a government department or the building in which it is located

ministry

noun
min·​is·​try | \ ˈmi-nə-strē How to pronounce ministry (audio) \
plural ministries

Kids Definition of ministry

1 : the office or duties of a religious minister
2 : a group of religious ministers : clergy
3 : a section of a government headed by a minister the ministry of transportation

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on ministry

What made you want to look up ministry? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!