or·​di·​na·​tion | \ ˌȯr-də-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce ordination (audio) \

Definition of ordination

: the act or an instance of ordaining : the state of being ordained

Examples of ordination in a Sentence

He is a candidate for ordination. After his ordination, he will be assigned to a local parish.

Recent Examples on the Web

After the war, Kessler finished college and enrolled in the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York to prepare for ordination. Anne M. Hamilton, courant.com, "Extraordinary Life: Rabbi Stanley Kessler led Temple Beth El for decades, but Hartford was his community," 16 June 2019 But in recent months, some unwritten rules—the avoidance of surprises, co-ordination of positions before big decisions, the need to keep disputes private—have been swept aside by a burst of Gallic vigor. David Meyer, Fortune, "Mark Zuckerberg's Privacy Practices: CEO Daily," 13 June 2019 Originally from Orange County, Seid received his ordination and master’s degree in rabbinic studies from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at American Jewish University in Los Angeles. Pomerado News, "New rabbi coming to Ner Tamid in Poway," 10 June 2019 Oliveto’s ordination to bishop in 2016 ignited a debate within the United Methodist Church about LGBTQ inclusion in the church. Julie Compton, NBC News, "#Pride50: Karen Oliveto — United Methodist Church's first lesbian bishop," 3 June 2019 While eastern rite Catholic priests can be married before ordination, Roman Catholic priests take a vow of celibacy. Nicole Winfield, The Seattle Times, "Priest’s son demands Vatican attention for clergy’s children," 20 Feb. 2019 In January the Yangtze River Delta area established an office for regional co-ordination, the first of its kind. The Economist, "China is trying to turn itself into a country of 19 super-regions," 21 June 2018 On its opening day, a handful of activists seeking the ordination of women as priests staged a singing protest at the Vatican gates hoping to capture the attention of bishops entering. Nicole Winfield, The Seattle Times, "Pressure building on Vatican to give women vote at synod," 15 Oct. 2018 The agreement also means that the Vatican will no longer approve the ordination of bishops in China without Beijing’s permission, meaning that all new leaders of the Catholic hierarchy there will be men acceptable to an avowedly atheist government. Eva Dou, WSJ, "Critics Divided on Vatican’s Deal With China Over Bishops," 23 Sep. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ordination

Statistics for ordination

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ordination

The first known use of ordination was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ordination



English Language Learners Definition of ordination

: the official act or process of making someone a priest, minister, etc.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ordination

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ordination

Spanish Central: Translation of ordination

Nglish: Translation of ordination for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ordination for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ordination

Comments on ordination

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


characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

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

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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