[ mish-uh-ner-ee ]
See synonyms for: missionarymissionaries on Thesaurus.com

noun,plural mis·sion·ar·ies.Also mis·sion·er for 1-3 .
  1. a person sent by a church into an area to carry on evangelism or other activities, as educational or hospital work: There are opportunities for student missionaries living abroad to work with people in need of aid, participate in building projects, and share the Gospel.

  2. a person strongly in favor of a program, set of principles, etc., who attempts to persuade or convert others.

  1. a person who is sent on a mission.

  1. pertaining to or connected with religious missions.

  2. engaged in such a mission or devoted to work connected with missions.

  1. reflecting or prompted by the desire to persuade or convert others: the missionary efforts of political fanatics.

  2. characteristic of a missionary: missionary zeal.

  3. relating to or noting the missionary position: Then it was up to the bedroom for some good, old-fashioned missionary sex.

Origin of missionary

First recorded in 1625–35; from New Latin missiōnārius; see mission, -ary

Other words from missionary

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

Words Nearby missionary

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use missionary in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for missionary


/ (ˈmɪʃənərɪ) /

nounplural -aries
  1. a member of a religious mission

  1. of or relating to missionaries: missionary work

  2. resulting from a desire to convert people to one's own beliefs: missionary 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