[ awr-deyn ]
/ ɔrˈdeɪn /
See synonyms for: ordain / ordained on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)

to invest with ministerial or sacerdotal functions; confer holy orders upon.
to enact or establish by law, edict, etc.: to ordain a new type of government.
to decree; give orders for: He ordained that the restrictions were to be lifted.
(of God, fate, etc.) to destine or predestine: Fate had ordained the meeting.

verb (used without object)



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Origin of ordain

1250–1300; Middle English ordeinen<Old French ordener<Latin ordināre to order, arrange, appoint. See ordination


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


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.

Example sentences from the Web for ordain

British Dictionary definitions for ordain

/ (ɔːˈdeɪn) /

verb (tr)

to consecrate (someone) as a priest; confer holy orders upon
(may take a clause as object) to decree, appoint, or predestine irrevocably
(may take a clause as object) to order, establish, or enact with authority
obsolete to select for an office

Derived forms of ordain

ordainer, nounordainment, noun

Word Origin for ordain

C13: from Anglo-Norman ordeiner, from Late Latin ordināre, from Latin ordo order
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