[ 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.


Origin of missionary

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

Related forms

non·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