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[ad-min-uh-ster] /ædˈmɪn ə stər/
verb (used with object)
to manage (affairs, a government, etc.); have executive charge of:
to administer the law.
to bring into use or operation:
to administer justice; to administer last rites.
to make application of; give:
to administer medicine.
to supervise the formal taking of (an oath or the like).
Law. to manage or dispose of, as a decedent's estate by an executor or administrator or a trust estate by a trustee.
verb (used without object)
to contribute assistance; bring aid or supplies (usually followed by to):
to administer to the poor.
to perform the duties of an administrator:
She administers quite effectively.
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 forms
[ad-min-uh-struh nt] /ædˈmɪn ə strənt/ (Show IPA),
nonadministrant, adjective
self-administered, adjective
self-administering, adjective
unadministered, adjective
well-administered, adjective
1. conduct, control, execute; direct, superintend, supervise, oversee. See rule. 2. distribute, supply, furnish. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for administering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Judges were always restricted by law and were held to strict account in administering justice.

  • I actually wound up by administering some sal-volatile to her.'

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • "Wait, and compose yourself," said Mr. Crum—administering the law of humanity.

    Man and Wife Wilkie Collins
  • Some notes on the best method of administering these principles.

  • The lady having opened her griefs, the father who was shriving her insisted on administering a severe penitential scourging.

    Curiosities of Olden Times S. Baring-Gould
British Dictionary definitions for administering


verb (mainly transitive)
(also intransitive) to direct or control (the affairs of a business, government, etc)
to put into execution; dispense: administer justice
when intr, foll by to. to give or apply (medicine, assistance, etc) as a remedy or relief
to apply formally; perform: to administer extreme unction
to supervise or impose the taking of (an oath, etc)
to manage or distribute (an estate, property, etc)
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
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Word Origin and History for administering



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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