1

missionary

play
noun mis·sion·ary \ ˈmi-shə-ˌner-ē \

Definition of missionary

plural missionaries
:a person undertaking a mission and especially a religious mission
  • missionaries who strove to convert natives to Christianity

Recent Examples of missionary from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Beginning around 1540, an order of Catholic priests known as the Jesuits began to send its members to many parts of the world to convert peoples who believed in other gods to Christianity. Wherever they went, the Catholic missionaries built central buildings for their religious work, and the buildings themselves became known as missions; many 17th-century missions in the American West and Southwest are now preserved as museums. Their foes, the Protestants, soon began sending out their own missionaries, and today Protestant missionaries are probably far more numerous.

First Known Use of missionary

1625

Other Christian Religious Terms


2

missionary

adjective

Definition of missionary

1 :relating to, engaged in, or devoted to missions
2 :characteristic of a missionary

Recent Examples of missionary from the Web

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

First Known Use of missionary

1644

Other Christian Religious Terms



MISSIONARY Defined for English Language Learners

missionary

play
noun

Definition of missionary for English Language Learners

  • : a person who is sent to a foreign country to do religious work (such as to convince people to join a religion or to help people who are sick, poor, etc.)


missionary

adjective

Definition of missionary for English Language Learners

  • : of or relating to missionaries

  • : very enthusiastic and eager about doing a job or supporting a cause


MISSIONARY Defined for Kids

1

missionary

play
noun mis·sion·ary \ ˈmi-shə-ˌner-ē \

Definition of missionary for Students

plural missionaries
:a person sent to a place to spread a religious faith

2

missionary

adjective

Definition of missionary for Students

:relating to efforts to gain new religious followers or to people sent to spread a religion
  • a missionary society


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