mission

1 of 3

noun

mis·​sion ˈmi-shən How to pronounce mission (audio)
1
a
: 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
2
: calling, vocation
Her mission was to be a teacher.
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
4
a
: a ministry commissioned by a religious organization to propagate (see propagate sense 3b) its faith or carry on humanitarian work
… there was a little port called Quinchang, where the fathers of the mission usually landed from Macao, on their progress to teach the Christian religion to the Chinese …Daniel Defoe
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
5
obsolete : the act or an instance of sending

mission

2 of 3

verb

missioned; missioning ˈmi-sh(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce mission (audio)

transitive verb

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

mission

3 of 3

adjective

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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The stakes are certainly high: The foundation’s mission talks about protecting personal identity and free will, along with privacy and fair treatment by algorithms using brain data as inputs. David Meyer, Fortune, 18 Apr. 2024 Devoted to spreading its mission to as many continents, industries, and consumers as possible, Eurobrillance is continuously developing new products and materializing fresh ideas. Chris Gallagher, USA TODAY, 18 Apr. 2024 After her arrest on stalking charges, Hollis shifted her mission from her neighborhood to social media. Carol Marbin Miller and, Miami Herald, 18 Apr. 2024 The former three-star recruit served his two-year church mission (2019-20) before returning to BYU. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Apr. 2024 Having started part-time in January, van Beurden’s mission is to help identify opportunities in KKR’s $59 billion infrastructure investment unit. Ryan Hogg, Fortune Europe, 17 Apr. 2024 Sully's Sandbox represents a significant milestone in the company's journey, providing organizations with scalable and secure access to diverse datasets and furthering their mission to empower businesses and individuals through innovative AI solutions. Kansas City Star, 17 Apr. 2024 Participant, the 20-year-old film and television production company whose mission was to inspire social justice and humanitarian action, is shutting down. Matt Donnelly, Variety, 16 Apr. 2024 The Columbia mission, in contrast, remains murky in the public consciousness, occurring between the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. Stephen Battaglio, Los Angeles Times, 6 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mission.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 5

Verb

1692, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1900, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of mission was in 1530

Dictionary Entries Near mission

Cite this Entry

“Mission.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mission. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

mission

noun
mis·​sion
ˈmish-ən
1
a
: a group of missionaries
b
: the work of a missionary
c
: a place where a mission or missionary works
2
a
: a group sent to a foreign country to carry on discussions or to provide training or assistance
trade mission
military mission
b
: a group of diplomats who stay in a foreign country
3
a
: a task or job that is assigned
our mission was to recover the stolen plans
b
: a definite military, naval, or aerospace task
a space mission
Etymology

Noun

from modern Latin mission-, missio "a group sent out by a religious organization," derived from earlier Latin missus, past participle of mittere "to send, throw" — related to message

Geographical Definition

Mission

geographical name

Mis·​sion ˈmi-shən How to pronounce Mission (audio)
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

More from Merriam-Webster on mission

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