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missionary

[mish-uh-ner-ee] /ˈmɪʃ əˌnɛr i/
noun, plural missionaries. Also, missioner
1.
a person sent by a church into an area to carry on evangelism or other activities, as educational or hospital work.
2.
a person strongly in favor of a program, set of principles, etc., who attempts to persuade or convert others.
3.
a person who is sent on a mission.
adjective
4.
pertaining to or connected with religious missions.
5.
engaged in such a mission, or devoted to work connected with missions.
6.
reflecting or prompted by the desire to persuade or convert others:
the missionary efforts of political fanatics.
7.
characteristic of a missionary.
Origin
1635-1645
1635-45; < Neo-Latin missiōnārius. See mission, -ary
Related forms
nonmissionary, adjective, noun, plural nonmissionaries.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for mission aries

missionary

/ˈmɪʃənərɪ/
noun (pl) -aries
1.
a member of a religious mission
adjective
2.
of or relating to missionaries: missionary work
3.
resulting from a desire to convert people to one's own beliefs: missionary zeal
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 mission aries

missionary

n.

1650s, from missionary (adj.). Missionary position attested by 1963, said to have been coined by Kinsey (1948), who identified its origin in work done by Polish anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski in Melanesia in the 1920s; allegedly from the term used by South Pacific peoples to describe what Christian missionaries promoted to replace their local variations. By late 1960s it became the general term for this type of sex, formerly also known as the English-American position.

adj.

"sent on a mission," 1640s, from Modern Latin missionarius "pertaining to a mission," from Latin missionem (see mission).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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