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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.
Origin of functionary
1785-95; function + -ary, modeled on French fonctionnaire Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for functionary
Historical Examples
  • "Sir, I have the pleasure to inform you that you are discharged," said that functionary.

    The Mysteries of London, v. 1/4 George W. M. Reynolds
  • Opposite to this functionary was a bench whereon the witnesses were placed.

    Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf George W. M. Reynolds
  • Its functionary is a priest, who offers sacrifice, and performs the ceremonies of an elaborate ritual.

    A Year in Europe Walter W. Moore
  • I do not know if this be true, but of the functionary we might say as often as not, he does not think, he is thought.

  • The cases which came beneath the jurisdiction of this functionary were tried in a large hall of the palace.

    Old and New Paris, v. 2 Henry Sutherland Edwards
  • It means, of course, when the functionary in question is a man who has his wits about him.

    Ten Years Later Alexandre Dumas, Pere
  • The place of that functionary would, in an English Court, be filled by a temporarily appointed counsel for the Crown.

    The Romance Of Giovanni Calvotti David Christie Murray
  • This functionary did not seem at all surprised at our reappearance.

    Young Tom Bowling J.C. Hutcheson
  • The taupo or "village maiden" is a functionary as indispensable to a Samoan village as a chief, or even a missionary.

    In the Track of the Trades Lewis R. Freeman
  • Justice Parsons, of Gloucester, was a functionary of this sort.

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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