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administer

[ad-min-uh-ster]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to manage (affairs, a government, etc.); have executive charge of: to administer the law.
  2. to bring into use or operation: to administer justice; to administer last rites.
  3. to make application of; give: to administer medicine.
  4. to supervise the formal taking of (an oath or the like).
  5. Law. to manage or dispose of, as a decedent's estate by an executor or administrator or a trust estate by a trustee.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to contribute assistance; bring aid or supplies (usually followed by to): to administer to the poor.
  2. to perform the duties of an administrator: She administers quite effectively.
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Origin of administer

1325–75; < Latin administrāre to assist, carry out, manage the affairs of (see ad-, minister); replacing Middle English amynistre (with a-5) < Middle French aministrer
Related formsad·min·is·trant [ad-min-uh-struh nt] /ædˈmɪn ə strənt/, nounnon·ad·min·is·trant, adjectiveself-ad·min·is·tered, adjectiveself-ad·min·is·ter·ing, adjectiveun·ad·min·is·tered, adjectivewell-ad·min·is·tered, adjective

Synonyms

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1. conduct, control, execute; direct, superintend, supervise, oversee. 2. distribute, supply, furnish.

Synonym study

1. See rule.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for administer

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • They administer stinging rebukes that leave the adversary writhing.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Her first duty was clearly to administer to his comfort, and that was precisely what she would do.

    Dust

    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • “What we want is to administer a tonic to the Conference in Milan,” he said airily.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • There was no one else to administer judgment, and Mrs. Wilson felt the necessity.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • The Barnacle family had for some time helped to administer the Circumlocution Office.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens


British Dictionary definitions for administer

administer

verb (mainly tr)
  1. (also intr) to direct or control (the affairs of a business, government, etc)
  2. to put into execution; dispenseadminister justice
  3. (when intr, foll by to) to give or apply (medicine, assistance, etc) as a remedy or relief
  4. to apply formally; performto administer extreme unction
  5. to supervise or impose the taking of (an oath, etc)
  6. to manage or distribute (an estate, property, etc)
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Word Origin

C14: amynistre, via Old French from Latin administrare, from ad- to + ministrāre to minister
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for administer

v.

late 14c., administren, aministren "to manage as a steward," from Old French amenistrer "help, aid, be of service to" (12c., Modern French administrer, the -d- restored 16c.), and directly from Latin administrare "manage, control, guide, superintend; rule direct," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + ministrare "serve" (see minister (v.)). Used of medicine, etc., "to give," from 1540s. Related: Administered; administering.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper