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2017 Word of the Year

functionary

[fuhngk-shuh-ner-ee] /ˈfʌŋk ʃəˌnɛr i/
noun, plural functionaries.
1.
a person who functions in a specified capacity, especially in government service; an official:
civil servants, bureaucrats, and other functionaries.
Origin of functionary
1785-1795
1785-95; function + -ary, modeled on French fonctionnaire
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for functionary
Historical Examples
  • He pressed the button on his desk, and, as the doorman appeared, addressed that functionary.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Justice Parsons, of Gloucester, was a functionary of this sort.

  • "It is always as the good patriot says," observed the functionary.

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
  • Crawling in after the functionary, Jack handed him the letter.

  • The functionary who is called Alcayde of the carcel at Havana confused the men.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • Half an hour's walk brought him there, and the functionary was at home.

    Despair's Last Journey David Christie Murray
  • Opposite to this functionary was a bench whereon the witnesses were placed.

    Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf George W. M. Reynolds
  • I do not know if this be true, but of the functionary we might say as often as not, he does not think, he is thought.

  • It means, of course, when the functionary in question is a man who has his wits about him.

    Ten Years Later Alexandre Dumas, Pere
  • His own clothes were at once appropriated by that functionary, who carried them into his cabin.

    Eric, or Little by Little Frederic W. Farrar
British Dictionary definitions for functionary

functionary

/ˈfʌŋkʃənərɪ/
noun (pl) -aries
1.
a person acting in an official capacity, as for a government; an official
adjective
2.
a less common word for functional, official
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 functionary
n.

"one who has a certain function," 1791, from or patterned on French fonctionnaire, a word of the Revolution; from Old French function (see function).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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19
22
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