underministry

ministry

[min-uh-stree]
noun, plural ministries.
1.
the service, functions, or profession of a minister of religion.
2.
the body or class of ministers of religion; clergy.
3.
the service, function, or office of a minister of state.
4.
the body of ministers of state.
5.
(usually initial capital letter) any of the administrative governmental departments of certain countries usually under the direction of a minister of state.
6.
(usually initial capital letter) the building that houses such an administrative department.
7.
the term of office of a minister of state.
8.
an act or instance of ministering; ministration; service.
9.
something that serves as an agency, instrument, or means.

Origin:
1175–1225; Middle English < Latin ministerium, equivalent to minister minister + -ium -ium

preministry, noun, plural preministries.
pseudoministry, noun, plural pseudoministries.
underministry, noun, plural underministries.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
ministry (ˈmɪnɪstrɪ)
 
n , pl -tries
1.  a.  the profession or duties of a minister of religion
 b.  the performance of these duties
2.  ministers of religion or government ministers considered collectively
3.  the tenure of a minister
4.  a.  a government department headed by a minister
 b.  the buildings of such a department
 
[C14: from Latin ministerium service, from minister servant; see minister]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

ministry
late 14c., "function of a priest," from L. ministerium "office, service," from minister (see minister). Began to be used 1916 as name of certain departments in British government.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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