Why was "tantrum" trending last week?


[min-uh-ster] /ˈmɪn ə stər/
a person authorized to conduct religious worship; member of the clergy; pastor.
a person authorized to administer sacraments, as at Mass.
a person appointed by or under the authority of a sovereign or head of a government to some high office of state, especially to that of head of an administrative department:
the minister of finance.
a diplomatic representative accredited by one government to another and ranking next below an ambassador.
Compare envoy1 (def 1).
a person acting as the agent or instrument of another.
verb (used with object)
to administer or apply:
to minister the last rites.
Archaic. to furnish; supply.
verb (used without object)
to perform the functions of a religious minister.
to give service, care, or aid; attend, as to wants or necessities.:
to minister to the needs of the hungry.
to contribute, as to comfort or happiness.
1250-1300; (noun) Middle English ministre, minister (< Old French ministre) < Latin minister servant, equivalent to minis- (variant of minus a lesser amount; akin to minor minor) + -ter noun suffix; replacing Middle English menistre < Old French < Latin, as above; (v.) Middle English ministren < Old French ministrer < Latin ministrāre to act as a servant, attend, derivative of minister
Related forms
preminister, verb (used without object)
subminister, noun
underminister, noun
unministered, adjective
Can be confused
clergy, cleric, imam, minister, pastor, priest, rabbi.
9. answer, tend, oblige. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for minister
  • The cosmetics queen, the minister and the president.
  • The president is the country's former health minister and a dentist, and the ear is close to the mouth, so it's all okay.
  • The minister himself was rather a favorite in the town.
  • The street and the market-place absolutely babbled, from side to side, with applauses of the minister.
  • At the conclusion of the ceremony, the minister congratulates the new couple.
  • The indefatigable minister flew from place to place in order to superintend the execution of his design.
  • As for evolution, your minister can't teach you anything about it.
  • The prime minister will probably survive a sleaze inquiry.
  • She stood at a podium as prime minister-elect, amid a sea of jostling and ill-tempered photographers.
  • Civilization may have been hanging in the balance, but the prime minister wanted his bath.
British Dictionary definitions for minister


(esp in Presbyterian and some Nonconformist Churches) a member of the clergy
a person appointed to head a government department
any diplomatic agent accredited to a foreign government or head of state
short for minister plenipotentiary or envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary See envoy1 (sense 1)
Also called (in full) minister resident. a diplomat ranking after an envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary
a person who attends to the needs of others, esp in religious matters
a person who acts as the agent or servant of a person or thing
(intransitive) often foll by to. to attend to the needs (of); take care (of)
(transitive) (archaic) to provide; supply
Derived Forms
ministership, noun
Word Origin
C13: via Old French from Latin: servant; related to minus less
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for minister

c.1300, "one who acts upon the authority of another," from Old French menistre "servant, valet, member of a household staff, administrator, musician, minstrel" (12c.), from Latin minister (genitive ministri) "inferior, servant, priest's assistant" (in Medieval Latin, "priest"), from minus, minor "less," hence "subordinate," (see minus) + comparative suffix *-teros. Formed on model of magister. Meaning "priest" is attested in English from early 14c. Political sense of "high officer of the state" is attested from 1620s, from notion of "service to the crown."


early 14c., "to perform religious rites, provide religious services;" mid-14c., "to serve (food or drink);" late 14c. "render service or aid," from Old French menistrer "to serve, be of service, administer, attend, wait on," and directly from Latin ministrare "to serve, attend, wait upon" (see minister (n.)). Related: Ministered; ministering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
minister in Culture

minister definition

In many Protestant churches, the presiding clergyman. Ministers preach sermons; conduct services; officiate at baptisms, weddings, and funerals; and generally look after the needs of their congregation. Some Protestant churches refer to their clergy as pastors or preachers rather than ministers.

minister definition

A title used in many countries for members of cabinets and similar public officials, who are roughly equivalent to the officials in the United States cabinet. For example, a minister of foreign affairs will have duties similar to those of the secretary of state of the United States.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
minister in the Bible

one who serves, as distinguished from the master. (1.) Heb. meshereth, applied to an attendant on one of superior rank, as to Joshua, the servant of Moses (Ex. 33:11), and to the servant of Elisha (2 Kings 4:43). This name is also given to attendants at court (2 Chr. 22:8), and to the priests and Levites (Jer. 33:21; Ezek. 44:11). (2.) Heb. pelah (Ezra 7:24), a "minister" of religion. Here used of that class of sanctuary servants called "Solomon's servants" in Ezra 2:55-58 and Neh. 7:57-60. (3.) Greek leitourgos, a subordinate public administrator, and in this sense applied to magistrates (Rom. 13:6). It is applied also to our Lord (Heb. 8:2), and to Paul in relation to Christ (Rom. 15:16). (4.) Greek hyperetes (literally, "under-rower"), a personal attendant on a superior, thus of the person who waited on the officiating priest in the synagogue (Luke 4:20). It is applied also to John Mark, the attendant on Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:5). (5.) Greek diaconos, usually a subordinate officer or assistant employed in relation to the ministry of the gospel, as to Paul and Apollos (1 Cor. 3:5), Tychicus (Eph. 6:21), Epaphras (Col. 1:7), Timothy (1 Thess. 3:2), and also to Christ (Rom. 15:8).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for minister

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for minister

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with minister

Nearby words for minister