[ mish-uh-ner-ee ]
/ ˈmɪʃ əˌnɛr i /

noun, plural mis·sion·ar·ies. Also mis·sion·er.

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.


Nearby words

  1. mission control,
  2. mission creep,
  3. mission specialist,
  4. mission statement,
  5. mission viejo,
  6. missionary apostolic,
  7. missionary position,
  8. missionary ridge,
  9. missioner,
  10. missionize

Origin of missionary

From the New Latin word missiōnārius, dating back to 1635–45. See mission, -ary

Related formsnon·mis·sion·ar·y, adjective, noun, plural non·mis·sion·ar·ies.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for missionary

British Dictionary definitions for missionary


/ (ˈmɪʃənərɪ) /

noun plural -aries

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
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 missionary
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper