Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To have charge of; manage.
  • intransitive verb To give or apply in a formal way.
  • intransitive verb To apply as a remedy.
  • intransitive verb To direct the taking of (an oath).
  • intransitive verb To mete out; dispense.
  • intransitive verb To manage (a trust or estate) under a will or official appointment.
  • intransitive verb To impose, offer, or tender (an oath, for example).
  • intransitive verb To manage as an administrator.
  • intransitive verb To minister.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To manage or conduct as minister, chief agent, or steward; super-intend the management or execution of; control or regulate in behalf of others: as, to administer the laws or the government, or a department of government; to administer a charitable trust, the affairs of a corporation, or the estate of a bankrupt.
  • To afford; supply; dispense; bring into use or operation, especially in the execution of a magisterial or sacerdotal office: as, to administer relief; to administer justice.
  • To give or apply; make application of: as, to administer medicine, punishment, counsel, etc.
  • To tender or impose, as an oath.
  • In law, to manage or dispose of, as the estate of a deceased person, in the capacity either of executor or administrator. See administration, 9.
  • To contribute assistance; bring aid or supplies; add something: with to: as, to administer to the necessities of the poor.
  • To perform the office of administrator: with upon: as, A administers upon the estate of B.
  • noun One who administers; a minister or an administrator.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To contribute; to bring aid or supplies; to conduce; to minister.
  • intransitive verb (Law) To perform the office of administrator; to act officially.
  • transitive verb To manage or conduct, as public affairs; to direct or superintend the execution, application, or conduct of.
  • transitive verb To dispense; to serve out; to supply; execute.
  • transitive verb To apply, as medicine or a remedy; to give, as a dose or something beneficial or suitable. Extended to a blow, a reproof, etc.
  • transitive verb To tender, as an oath.
  • transitive verb (Law) To settle, as the estate of one who dies without a will, or whose will fails of an executor.
  • noun obsolete Administrator.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To cause to take, either by openly offering or through deceit.
  • verb transitive To apportion out, as in administering justice.
  • verb transitive To manage or supervise the conduct, performance or execution of; to govern or regulate the parameters for the conduct, performance or execution of; to work in an administrative capacity.
  • verb intransitive To minister to, as in administering to the sick.

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

  • verb administer or bestow, as in small portions
  • verb give or apply (medications)
  • verb perform (a church sacrament) ritually
  • verb work in an administrative capacity; supervise or be in charge of
  • verb direct the taking of

Etymologies

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

[Middle English administren, from Old French administrer, from Latin administrāre : ad, ad- + ministrāre, to manage (from minister, ministr-, servant; see minister).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English admynistren, from Old French aminister, from Latin administrare ("to manage, execute"), from ad ("to") + ministrare ("to attend, serve"), from minister ("servant"); see minister.

Examples

  • Some of his relations died and left a lot of money, so folks tell, and George is what they call administer of the estate.

    Fair Harbor

  • Augustana's 2006 NSSE scores for student-faculty interaction were below the average benchmark for first-year students attending similar institutions, but Abernathy hopes that the needle will move next year, when the campus will again administer the survey.

    Illinois college's faculty rethink how they teach

  • Polly's health, and that I look to her to help me get settled without overstrain to my wife -- in short, administer a dose of duty, and she may see her way to coming.

    Ainslee's, Vol. 15, No. 5, June 1905

  • And I think, as parents, one of the things that we have to administer is tough love.

    CNN Transcript Sep 22, 2007

  • Furthermore, we need a tax system which is not difficult to comply with or administer, which is regarded as fair, and which limits opportunities to divert income and reduce tax liabilities.

    National Business Review (NBR) New Zealand

  • If half-baked political theories and weaving a movement from nothing inspire people to seek to administer, that is fine ... but we are not looking for a guru.

    Gen X at 40

  • Turned down the ultimatum from "The Anglican Communion" that a committee of bishops from abroad must come to the U.S. and "administer" on behalf of the anti-gay conservatives.

    Gail Godwin's 'Solo Notes' Journal: Narrative Magazine's Friday Feature

  • Doctors' ethics prohibit them from taking part in an execution, so the prison must ask one of its employees to mix up the drugs, and then "administer" them.

    John Duty: human guinea pig in Oklahoma's cruel experiment

  • Turned down the ultimatum from "The Anglican Communion" that a committee of bishops from abroad must come to the U.S. and "administer" on behalf of the anti-gay conservatives.

    Gail Godwin's 'Solo Notes' Journal: Narrative Magazine's Friday Feature

  • I have not taught enough to be any kind of administer in education and for the record, have absolutely no interest in ever becoming administer, but I have taught more than the current Secretary of Education.

    Acorns and oak trees and Arne Duncan

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