mission

noun
mis·​sion | \ ˈmi-shən How to pronounce mission (audio) \

Definition of mission

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 obsolete : the act or an instance of sending
2a : a ministry commissioned by a religious organization to propagate (see propagate sense 3b) its faith or carry on humanitarian work organized a mission to the heathen natives
b : assignment to or work in a field of missionary enterprise
c(1) : a mission establishment
(2) : a local church or parish dependent on a larger religious organization for direction or financial support Spanish missions in California
d missions plural : organized missionary work
e : a course of sermons and services given to convert the unchurched or quicken Christian faith a preaching mission
3 : a body of persons sent to perform a service or carry on an activity: such as
a : a group sent to a foreign country to conduct diplomatic or political negotiations a member of a trade mission
b : a permanent embassy or legation
c : a team of specialists or cultural leaders sent to a foreign country served on a mission to improve agricultural methods
4a : a specific task with which a person or a group is charged Their mission was to help victims of the disaster.
b(1) : a definite military, naval, or aerospace task a bombing mission a space mission
(2) : a flight operation of an aircraft or spacecraft in the performance of a mission a mission to Mars
c : a preestablished and often self-imposed objective or purpose statement of the company's mission
5 : calling, vocation Her mission was to be a teacher.

mission

verb
missioned; missioning\ ˈmi-​sh(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce missioning (audio) \

Definition of mission (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to send on or entrust with a mission
2 : to carry on a religious mission among or in

mission

adjective

Definition of mission (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : of or relating to a style used in the early Spanish missions of the southwestern U.S. mission architecture
2 : of, relating to, or having the characteristic of a style of plain heavy usually oak furniture originating in the U.S. in the early part of the 20th century

Mission

geographical name
Mis·​sion | \ ˈmi-shən How to pronounce Mission (audio) \

Definition of Mission (Entry 4 of 4)

1 city near the Rio Grande in southern Texas population 77,058
2 municipality on the Fraser River in southwestern British Columbia, Canada population 36,426

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

Your own mission in life can be anything you pursue with almost religious enthusiasm. People with a mission—whether it's stopping drunk driving, keeping the town's public areas clean, increasing local recycling, or building a community center—very often succeed in really changing things.

Examples of mission in a Sentence

Noun

Our mission was to recover the stolen plans. By patient negotiation she succeeded in her mission of averting a strike. a mission to the moon a member of a trade mission
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Still, with the mission date fast approaching NASA doesn’t have very many other choices. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "If SLS Won't Launch NASA's Moon Mission, What Will?," 14 Mar. 2019 It is revealed that Luther's body was formed after Sir Hargreeves injected gorilla DNA after a botched mission also left him dead. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "13 Differences Between "The Umbrella Academy" Comics and TV Show," 8 Mar. 2019 The royal Fab Four has taken this mission to heart not just through resources and funding, but also by simply discussing their own struggles—a seemingly small thing that can make big cultural changes. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "The Royal Family's Most Emotional, Revealing Quotes About Their Mental Health," 27 Feb. 2019 But after Terry passed away, promoting organic farming became La Rhea's mission. Erin Quinn-kong, Woman's Day, "Are Your Fast-Fashion Clothes Killing Farmers?," 14 Feb. 2019 Then around the time of the flyby at 12:33AM ET on January 1st, there will be some celebrations in the missions operations center to honor the event. Loren Grush, The Verge, "How to watch as NASA sends a spacecraft past a rock at the edge of the Solar System," 30 Dec. 2018 The mission at this facility at Lackland Air Force Base is deceptively simple: to get trainees ready for their first special operations training class, an unforgiving session called Assessment and Selection. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "What Happened When I Trained With Air Force Human Performance Specialists," 12 Feb. 2019 The vehicle’s primary mission was to fly by Pluto, with the possibility of passing by a second Kuiper Belt object later. Loren Grush, The Verge, "On New Year’s Day, a spacecraft will zoom by the most distant object humanity has ever visited," 27 Dec. 2018 At the time, The Telegraph offered a few explanations for Will's foray into facial hair, writing: It is believed that the Prince's beard was an attempt to disguise his identity during the SBS mission. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Prince William Grew Out a Beard in 2008 and These Throwback Pictures Documented It," 16 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mission.' 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 mission

Noun

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1692, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1900, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mission

Noun, Verb, and Adjective

New Latin, Medieval Latin, & Latin; New Latin mission-, missio religious mission, from Medieval Latin, task assigned, from Latin, act of sending, from mittere to send

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mission

Statistics for mission

Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mission

The first known use of mission was in 1530

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mission

mission

noun

English Language Learners Definition of mission

: a task or job that someone is given to do
: a specific military or naval task
: a flight by an aircraft or spacecraft to perform a specific task

mission

noun
mis·​sion | \ ˈmi-shən How to pronounce mission (audio) \

Kids Definition of mission

1 : a task that is assigned or begun
2 : a task that is regarded as a very important duty She thinks of teaching as her mission.
3 : a group of missionaries
4 : a group of people sent by a government to represent it in a foreign country
5 : a place where the work of missionaries is carried on

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on mission

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!