See more synonyms for ministry on
noun, plural min·is·tries.
  1. the service, functions, or profession of a minister of religion.
  2. the body or class of ministers of religion; clergy.
  3. the service, function, or office of a minister of state.
  4. the body of ministers of state.
  5. (usually initial capital letter) any of the administrative governmental departments of certain countries usually under the direction of a minister of state.
  6. (usually initial capital letter) the building that houses such an administrative department.
  7. the term of office of a minister of state.
  8. an act or instance of ministering; ministration; service.
  9. something that serves as an agency, instrument, or means.

Origin of ministry

1175–1225; Middle English < Latin ministerium, equivalent to minister minister + -ium -ium
Related formspre·min·is·try, noun, plural pre·min·is·tries.pseu·do·min·is·try, noun, plural pseu·do·min·is·tries.un·der·min·is·try, noun, plural un·der·min·is·tries. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of ministries

British Dictionary definitions for ministries


noun plural -tries
    1. the profession or duties of a minister of religion
    2. the performance of these duties
  1. ministers of religion or government ministers considered collectively
  2. the tenure of a minister
    1. a government department headed by a minister
    2. the buildings of such a department

Word Origin for ministry

C14: from Latin ministerium service, from minister servant; see 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 ministries



late 14c., "function of a priest," from Old French menistere "service, ministry; position, post, employment," and directly from Latin ministerium "office, service, attendance, ministry," from minister (see minister (n.)). Began to be used 1916 as name of certain departments in British government.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper