noun min·is·try \ ˈmi-nə-strē \
|Updated on: 17 Jul 2018
plural ministries
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 1cabinet 3b) is sometimes selected
b : the group of ministers constituting a cabinet
7 a : 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

Examples of ministry in a Sentence

  1. a member of the ministry

  2. She learned a lot during her first year of ministry.

Recent Examples of ministry from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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, 1minister" + -ium, denominal suffix of occupations

ministry Synonyms

Other Christian Religious Terms

MINISTRY Defined for English Language Learners


  • the 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 Defined for Kids


noun min·is·try \ ˈmi-nə-strē \
plural ministries
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

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