Your favorite word could be our Word of the Day!


[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.
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. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for ministries
  • We will therefore now bring those gentlemen into the ministries.
British Dictionary definitions for ministries


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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for ministries



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
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for ministries


in Christianity, the office held by persons who are set apart by ecclesiastical authority to be ministers in the church or whose call to special vocational service in a church is afforded some measure of general recognition. The type of ministry varies in the different churches. That which developed in the early church and is retained by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Old Catholic, Anglican, and some Protestant churches is episcopal (see episcopacy) and is based on the three orders, or offices, of bishop, priest, and deacon.

Learn more about ministry with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for ministry

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for ministries

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with ministries