Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who is authorized to perform religious functions in a Christian church, especially a Protestant church.
  • n. Roman Catholic Church The superior in certain orders.
  • n. A high officer of state appointed to head an executive or administrative department of government.
  • n. An authorized diplomatic representative of a government, usually ranking next below an ambassador.
  • n. A person serving as an agent for another by carrying out specified orders or functions.
  • intransitive v. To attend to the wants and needs of others: Volunteers ministered to the homeless after the flood. See Synonyms at tend2.
  • intransitive v. To perform the functions of a cleric.
  • transitive v. To administer or dispense (a sacrament, for example).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who is trained to perform religious ceremonies at a Protestant church.
  • n. A politician who heads a ministry (national or regional government department for public service).
  • n. At a diplomacy, the rank of diplomat directly below ambassador
  • n. Someone who serves others.
  • v. To attend to; to tend.
  • v. (archaic) To afford, to give, to supply.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A servant; a subordinate; an officer or assistant of inferior rank; hence, an agent, an instrument.
  • n. An officer of justice.
  • n. One to whom the sovereign or executive head of a government intrusts the management of affairs of state, or some department of such affairs.
  • n. A representative of a government, sent to the court, or seat of government, of a foreign nation to transact diplomatic business.
  • n. One who serves at the altar; one who performs sacerdotal duties; the pastor of a church duly authorized or licensed to preach the gospel and administer the sacraments.
  • intransitive v. To act as a servant, attendant, or agent; to attend and serve; to perform service in any office, sacred or secular.
  • intransitive v. To supply or to things needful; esp., to supply consolation or remedies.
  • transitive v. To furnish or apply; to afford; to supply; to administer.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To furnish, supply, or afford; give; serve: as, to minister consolation.
  • To perform; render.
  • Synonyms Administer, Minister. See administer.
  • To act as a minister or attendant; perform service of any kind.
  • To afford supplies; give things needful; furnish means of relief or remedy.
  • To contribute; be of service.
  • To serve.
  • Synonyms Administer to, Minister to (see administer), contribute to, serve, assist, help, succor, wait upon.
  • n. One who performs service for another, or executes another's will; one who is subservient; an agent, servant, or attendant.
  • n. One who acts as a medium or dispenser; an administrator or promoter: as, a minister of God's will, of justice, etc.; a minister of peace or charity.
  • n. In politics: One of the persons appointed by the sovereign or chief magistrate of a country as the responsible heads of the different departments of the government; a minister of state: as, the minister of foreign affairs, of the interior, of finance, of war. of justice, etc.
  • n. A diplomatic representative of a country abroad; a person accredited by the executive authority of one country to that of another as its agent for communication and the transaction of business between the two governments; specifically, the political representative of a state in another state, in contradistinction to an ambassador, who holds a nominally higher rank as in general the personal representative of the sovereign or chief of the state at the court of another sovereign.
  • n. Eccles., in the New Testament, a servant of God, God's word, Christ, or the church; an officer of the church; an attendant or assistant (Acts xiii. 5): translating διάκονος (whence deacon), but sometimes λειτουργός (liturge) orὑπηρέτης (an assistant); hence, any member of the ministry.
  • n. An officer of justice.
  • n. The catfish, Amiurus nebulosus: apparently so called from the silvery white throat, contrasting with the dark back, and likened to a clergyman's white necktie.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. attend to the wants and needs of others
  • n. the job of a head of a government department
  • v. work as a minister
  • n. a person authorized to conduct religious worship
  • n. a person appointed to a high office in the government
  • n. a diplomat representing one government to another; ranks below ambassador

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French ministre, from Latin minister, servant; see mei-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English ministre, from Old French ministre, from Latin minister ("an attendant, servant, assistant, a priest's assistant or other under official"), from minor ("less") + -ter; see minor. (Wiktionary)

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