mission

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

Definition of mission

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : 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
4a : 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

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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Eva Green plays an astronaut preparing for a mission — and for a long separation from her child — in Alice Winocour’s superbly crafted yet intimate drama. Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, "Hollywood Reporter Critics' 20 Favorite Films From the Fall Festivals," 15 Sep. 2019 The fresh-looking, clipboard-clutching innocents interviewing museum visitors don’t realize what a nefarious mission they’ve been enlisted to advance. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Art Bridges’ Art Populism," 14 Sep. 2019 The storm will delay a humanitarian mission from the Port of Palm Beach by one day, according to the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. Brooke Baitinger, sun-sentinel.com, "Tropical storm in Bahamas may complicate hurricane relief efforts," 13 Sep. 2019 The channel has generally lacked a clear mission since 2017, when following layoffs executives ended the 7-11 p.m. SportsCenter airings, leading to speculation about the network’s future. Jacob Feldman, SI.com, "ESPNews Odds-on Favorite to Become ESPN’s Home for Gambling Content," 12 Sep. 2019 To answer those questions, the INSERM team trucked scientific equipment worth €500,000 up a muddy, potholed road in February for a 12-day mission. Xing Liu, Science Magazine, "At 5100 meters elevation, a Peruvian gold mining town is the world’s highest settlement—and a good place to study how life at extremely low oxygen levels ravages the body.," 12 Sep. 2019 For more info: ALMANAC: TBD ANTIQUES: Colonial Williamsburg furniture conservator Leroy Graves At Colonial Williamsburg, getting the period details just right is a mission for furniture conservator Leroy Graves. CBS News, "This week on "Sunday Morning" (September 15)," 12 Sep. 2019 Now, Rambo must confront his past and unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission. SFChronicle.com, "‘Rambo: Last Blood’," 11 Sep. 2019 But Rear Admiral Smith treated women with respect, treated us simply as colleagues united in a common mission. Sandra Sidi, The Atlantic, "The Male Gaze on Steroids," 6 Sep. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of mission

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

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

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Statistics for mission

Last Updated

14 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mission

The first known use of mission was in 1530

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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

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Comments on mission

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