[ awr-deynd ]
/ ɔrˈdeɪnd /
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having been invested with ministerial, priestly, or rabbinical functions:Today’s lecturer is an ordained rabbi and a Talmudic scholar.
having been decreed, appointed, or formally established by some authority:If questioned, I will invoke my constitutionally ordained right to avoid incriminating myself.
having been destined or predestined:Cortez believed himself the ordained conqueror of the Aztec Empire.
Usually the ordained . a person or persons who have been invested with ministerial, priestly, or rabbinical functions, or the category of those so invested:Christian leaders, especially the ordained, are expected to reflect and model the faith which they profess and teach.
the simple past tense and past participle of ordain.
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Origin of ordained


self-or·dained, adjectiveun·or·dained, adjective

Words nearby ordained

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does ordained mean?

Ordained is an adjective that means having gained official status as a priest, minister, or other religious authority through a sanctioned process.

Ordained is also the past tense of the verb ordain, meaning to invest someone with such authority. It has several other more general meanings, including to order, command, decree, or destine. The process or ceremony in which a priest or minister is ordained is called ordination.

Example: Only an ordained minister can perform the ceremony.

Where does ordained come from?

The first records of ordained as an adjective come from around the 1300s. The verb ordain is derived from the Latin verb ordināre, meaning “to arrange, order, appoint.”

The original sense of the verb ordain is “to appoint to holy office.” In Christianity, this is done through the ceremony of ordination, which sometimes refers to the sacrament of holy orders. Those who have undergone this process are generally called ordained ministers, indicating that they have officially completed the steps to gain their status as a priest or minister. Ordained ministers are said to be members of the clergy and they are often given the title reverend.

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What are some other forms related to ordained?

  • ordain (verb)
  • ordination (noun)

What are some words that share a root or word element with ordained


What are some words that often get used in discussing ordained?

How is ordained used in real life?

As an adjective, ordained is almost always used in religious contexts, especially in relation to Christian priests and ministers.



Try using ordained!

Is ordained used correctly in the following sentence?

I am entering the seminary in order to study to become an ordained minister.

How to use ordained in a sentence