- a person sent by a church into an area to carry on evangelism or other activities, as educational or hospital work.
- a person strongly in favor of a program, set of principles, etc., who attempts to persuade or convert others.
- a person who is sent on a mission.
Origin of missionary
Examples from the Web for missionary
Outside, they killed Hector McMillan, a Canadian missionary, before joining the ranks of the fleeing rebels.
Heavily armed Simbas had already arrived at the missionary house and were lining up families in the backyard for execution.
The hospital also treated a second missionary who died in early August, and this nurse also had come in contact with him.Ebola Contracted in Madrid Hospital Could Spread in Europe
Barbie Latza Nadeau
October 7, 2014
Bagaza called for the expulsion of all Italian priests and missionary workers, but those who stayed received death threats.Catholic Nuns Aiding Africa's Battered Wives Are Raped and Murdered
Barbie Latza Nadeau
September 10, 2014
What does Soylent have going for it other than missionary zeal and a revoltingly kitschy sci-fi throwback name?Doc Says No to Soylent
May 13, 2014
That is a Missionary; and the blacks are not Freedmen, as you suppose, but Cannibals.
It is important that we keep the missionary motive on the right basis.Understanding the Scriptures
Mr. Swartout was a missionary to the West Coast Indian tribes.Indian Legends of Vancouver Island
What does that little chit, Fanny, want at a missionary meeting?The Channings
Mrs. Henry Wood
Landis doesn't know a good cake from a Fiji missionary pudding.The Gentleman From Indiana
- a member of a religious mission
- of or relating to missionariesmissionary work
- resulting from a desire to convert people to one's own beliefsmissionary zeal
Word Origin and History for missionary
1650s, from missionary (adj.). Missionary position attested by 1963, said to have been coined by Kinsey (1948), who identified its origin in work done by Polish anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski in Melanesia in the 1920s; allegedly from the term used by South Pacific peoples to describe what Christian missionaries promoted to replace their local variations. By late 1960s it became the general term for this type of sex, formerly also known as the English-American position.
"sent on a mission," 1640s, from Modern Latin missionarius "pertaining to a mission," from Latin missionem (see mission).