Definitions

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

  • noun The act of serving; ministration.
  • noun One that serves as a means; an instrumentality.
  • noun The profession, duties, and services of a minister.
  • noun The Christian clergy.
  • noun The period of service of a minister.
  • noun A governmental department presided over by a minister.
  • noun The building in which such a department is housed.
  • noun The duties, functions, or term of a governmental minister.
  • noun Governmental ministers considered as a group.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of ministering; the rendering of service; ministration.
  • noun The state of ministering or serving; agency; instrumentality.
  • noun The office or function of a minister, civil or ecclesiastical; the state of being a minister, in any sense; the exercise of a ministerial office: as, to discharge one's ministry faithfully; to enter the ministry of the gospel; to be appointed to the ministry of war.
  • noun The general or a particular body of ministers of religion; the ministerial or clerical class; the clergy or priesthood.
  • noun The body of ministers of state in a conntry; the heads of departments collectively; the executive administration: as, to form a ministry; the policy of the British ministry; the French ministry has resigned. In the United States the corresponding body is called the cabinet.
  • noun A ministerial department of government; the organization of functionaries administering a branch of public affairs; a minister and his subordinates collectively: as, the ministry of war or of justice.

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

  • noun The act of ministering; ministration; service.
  • noun Agency; instrumentality.
  • noun The office, duties, or functions of a minister, servant, or agent; ecclesiastical, executive, or ambassadorial function or profession.
  • noun The body of ministers of state; also, the clergy, as a body.
  • noun Administration; rule; term in power.

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

  • noun Government department, at the administrative level normally headed by a minister (or equivalent rank, e.g. secretary of state), who holds it as portfolio, especially in a constitutional monarchy
  • noun The complete body of government ministers (whether or not they are in cabinet) under the leadership of a head of government (such as a prime minister)
  • noun A ministration
  • noun The active practice and education of the minister of a particular religion or faith.

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

  • noun religious ministers collectively (especially Presbyterian)
  • noun the work of a minister of religion
  • noun a government department under the direction of a minister
  • noun building where the business of a government department is transacted

Etymologies

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

[Middle English ministerie, from Old French ministere, from Latin ministerium, from minister, servant; see mei- in Indo-European roots.]

Examples

  • And if the horseman of the first seal represented the chosen ministry who went forth in a glorious mission to win trophies of grace, the horseman of this seal must represent _an apostate ministry_, possessing power and authority to enforce the severest exactions upon the bread of life, thus producing a desolating spiritual famine.

    The Revelation Explained

  • See working in ministry is all about meeting needs and compromising and sacrificing to meet those needs.

    Change of Plans

  • To the left of this paper sat another, which had been folded so that a story bearing the title ministry guarantees students 'sapety was visible.

    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

  • The primacy of prayer in ministry, which is so evident in the Curé of Ars, is an important lesson for parish priests.

    Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog:

  • The primacy of prayer in ministry, which is so evident in the Curé of Ars, is an important lesson for parish priests.

    Benedict XVI on Year of the Priest, Cure of Ars

  • Any indignation, or sympathy for the MoD however, should be tempered with the knowledge that, when it comes to accountability, this ministry is the pits.

    An odd sense of values

  • CALDWELL: Bobby, obviously we've got what we call ministry advisory teams that work with the ministries to help them think through some of these challenges and issues.

    Monday, July 31, 2006

  • But this young woman -- so wholesome, so good to look at in her sweet seriousness, so strong in her womanliness and withal so useful in what she called her ministry -- this woman was -- well, she was different.

    The Calling of Dan Matthews

  • He had greatly lost interest in the questions that had occupied him while he was yet a student, and imagined himself in preparation for what he called the ministry -- never thinking how one was to minister who had not yet learned to obey, and had never sought anything but his own glorification!

    Salted with Fire

  • The work of the ministry is a warfare, not after the flesh indeed, for it is a spiritual warfare, with spiritual enemies and for spiritual purposes.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume VI (Acts to Revelation)

Comments

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  • the frost performs its secret ministry

    un helped by any wind

    (Coleridge)

    May 8, 2009