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late 14c., administren, aministren "to manage as a steward," from Old French amenistrer "help, aid, be of service to" (12c., Modern French administrer, the -d- restored 16c.), and directly from Latin administrare "manage, control, guide, superintend; rule direct," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + ministrare "serve" (see minister (v.)). Used of medicine, etc., "to give," from 1540s. Related: Administered; administering.