[min-uh-steer-ee-uh l]
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  1. pertaining to the ministry of religion, or to a minister or other member of the clergy.
  2. pertaining to a ministry or minister of state.
  3. pertaining to or invested with delegated executive authority.
  4. of ministry or service.
  5. serving as an instrument or means; instrumental.

Origin of ministerial

1555–65; < Late Latin ministeriālis, equivalent to Latin ministeri(um) ministry + -ālis -al1
Related formsmin·is·te·ri·al·ly, adverban·ti·min·is·te·ri·al, adjectivean·ti·min·is·te·ri·al·ly, adverbin·ter·min·is·te·ri·al, adjectivenon·min·is·te·ri·al, adjectivenon·min·is·te·ri·al·ly, adverbpseu·do·min·is·te·ri·al, adjectivequa·si-min·is·te·ri·al, adjectivesem·i·min·is·te·ri·al, adjectiveun·min·is·te·ri·al, adjectiveun·min·is·te·ri·al·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of ministerial

British Dictionary definitions for ministerial


  1. of or relating to a minister of religion or his office
  2. of or relating to a government minister or ministrya ministerial act
  3. (often capital) of or supporting the ministry or government against the opposition
  4. law relating to or possessing delegated executive authority
  5. law (of an office, duty, etc) requiring the following of instructions, without power to exercise any personal discretion in doing so
  6. acting as an agent or cause; instrumental
Derived Formsministerially, adverb
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 ministerial

1560s, of religion; 1650s, of state; in some uses from Middle French ministériel and directly from Medieval Latin ministerialis "pertaining to service, of a minister," from Latin ministerium (see ministry); in some cases probably directly from minister or ministry.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper