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[fuhngk-shuh-ner-ee] /ˈfʌŋk ʃəˌnɛr i/
noun, plural functionaries.
a person who functions in a specified capacity, especially in government service; an official:
civil servants, bureaucrats, and other functionaries.
1785-95; function + -ary, modeled on French fonctionnaire Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for functionary
  • He is a functionary whose existence, in the natural course of things, would have terminated about two hundred years ago.
  • Probably nothing would have scared him off of reading faster than some visiting federal functionary fawning over him.
  • And not only that, but under the law, they can call any public functionary to declare and give them information.
  • He has made a career as a blue-collar government functionary.
  • Such provisions allow life-shattering determinations to be made at the unreviewable discretion of an administrative functionary.
  • His father was a court functionary, who basically stole money from the treasury.
British Dictionary definitions for functionary


noun (pl) -aries
a person acting in an official capacity, as for a government; an official
a less common word for functional, official
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 functionary

"one who has a certain function," 1791, from or patterned on French fonctionnaire, a word of the Revolution; from Old French function (see function).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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