noun, plural missionaries. Also, missioner.
a person sent by a church into an area to carry on evangelism or other activities, as educational or hospital work.
a person strongly in favor of a program, set of principles, etc., who attempts to persuade or convert others.
a person who is sent on a mission.
pertaining to or connected with religious missions.
engaged in such a mission, or devoted to work connected with missions.
reflecting or prompted by the desire to persuade or convert others: the missionary efforts of political fanatics.
characteristic of a missionary.

1635–45; < Neo-Latin missiōnārius. See mission, -ary

nonmissionary, adjective, noun, plural nonmissionaries.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To missionary
World English Dictionary
missionary (ˈmɪʃənərɪ)
n , pl -aries
1.  a member of a religious mission
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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1656, from mission (q.v.). Missionary position first attested 1969; allegedly so called because Christian missionaries forced it on "primitive" people to replace their more creative variations.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
It provides a sophisticated insight, one of many in the show, into the
  missionary experience.
The missionary was delighted by everyone's response to the gift.
Preparation day is when a missionary buys his groceries, washes his laundry, or
  even visits the beach.
Some were driven by martial spirit, missionary zeal or imperial fervour.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature