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[min-uh-stree] /ˈmɪn ə stri/
noun, plural ministries.
the service, functions, or profession of a minister of religion.
the body or class of ministers of religion; clergy.
the service, function, or office of a minister of state.
the body of ministers of state.
(usually initial capital letter) any of the administrative governmental departments of certain countries usually under the direction of a minister of state.
(usually initial capital letter) the building that houses such an administrative department.
the term of office of a minister of state.
an act or instance of ministering; ministration; service.
something that serves as an agency, instrument, or means.
Origin of ministry
1175-1225; Middle English < Latin ministerium, equivalent to minister minister + -ium -ium
Related forms
preministry, noun, plural preministries.
pseudoministry, noun, plural pseudoministries.
underministry, noun, plural underministries. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ministry
  • He studied a long time to prepare himself for the functions of the holy ministry.
  • The ministry has often been criticized for dragging its feet on reforms.
  • The ministry is taking part in the two-month effort.
  • Hart says the ministry is being pedantic in its pursuit of his website.
  • They must commit to raising standards, and their subsequent performance is monitored by the ministry.
  • Later he ran the posts and telecommunications ministry, a forerunner of today's information-industry ministry.
  • These days many students come here to prepare for careers other than ministry.
  • Foreign affairs used to be the business of the pro-detente foreign ministry.
  • Last summer the ministry floated the idea that the project should be scrapped.
  • He had finished a stint as a top policeman, and was starting a new security job at the defence ministry.
British Dictionary definitions for ministry


noun (pl) -tries
  1. the profession or duties of a minister of religion
  2. the performance of these duties
ministers of religion or government ministers considered collectively
the tenure of a minister
  1. a government department headed by a minister
  2. the buildings of such a department
Word Origin
C14: from Latin ministerium service, from minister servant; see minister
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
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Word Origin and History for ministry

late 14c., "function of a priest," from Old French menistere "service, ministry; position, post, employment," and directly from Latin ministerium "office, service, attendance, ministry," from minister (see minister (n.)). Began to be used 1916 as name of certain departments in British government.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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