ordain

play
verb or·dain \ȯr-ˈdān\

Definition of ordain

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to invest (see 1invest 1) officially (as by the laying on of hands) with ministerial or priestly authority was ordained as a priest

  3. 2a :  to establish or order by appointment, decree, or law :  enact we the people … do ordain and establish this Constitution — U.S. Constitutionb :  destine, foreordain It is futile to try to avoid what destiny has ordained.

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to issue an order so the gods have ordained

ordainer

noun

ordainment

play \ȯr-ˈdān-mənt\ noun

Examples of ordain in a Sentence

  1. She is an ordained minister.

  2. The process was ordained by law.

Recent Examples of ordain from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of ordain

Middle English ordeinen, from Anglo-French ordener, ordeiner, from Late Latin ordinare, from Latin, to put in order, appoint, from ordin-, ordo order


First Known Use: 14th century

Other Christian Religious Terms


ORDAIN Defined for English Language Learners

ordain

play
verb

Definition of ordain for English Language Learners

  • : to officially make (someone) a minister, priest, rabbi, etc.

  • : to officially establish or order (something)


ORDAIN Defined for Kids

ordain

play
verb or·dain \ȯr-ˈdān\

Definition of ordain for Students

ordained

;

ordaining

  1. 1 :  2decree It was ordained by law.

  2. 2 :  to make a person a Christian minister or priest by a special ceremony



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a lively discussion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!