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See more synonyms for ministry on Thesaurus.com
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.
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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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ministry

department, bureau, exhortation, preaching, prayer, clergy, priesthood, prelacy, clergymen, vicarage, clericals

Examples from the Web for ministry

Contemporary Examples of ministry

Historical Examples of ministry

British Dictionary definitions for ministry


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
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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 ministry


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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper