Definition of missionary in English:


Syllabification: mis·sion·ar·y
Pronunciation: /ˈmiSHəˌnerē

noun (plural missionaries)

  • A person sent on a religious mission, especially one sent to promote Christianity in a foreign country.
    More example sentences
    • Yet how many Christians today give even a tenth to support pastors, evangelists and missionaries?
    • During the seventeenth century, French Jesuit missionaries converted many of the Iroquois to Catholicism.
    • American Protestant missionaries arrived in Korea in the nineteenth century.
    evangelist, apostle, proselytizer, preacher, minister, priest
    historical black robe


Back to top  
  • Of, relating to, or characteristic of a missionary or a religious mission: missionary work they have lost the missionary zeal they once had
    More example sentences
    • For some there was religious missionary zeal in helping those who were less fortunate.
    • There is a direct connection between the presence of missionary zeal in members and their regular presence in worship.
    • Theorizing about biblical translation was often undertaken and emerged within the framework of missionary practice.


mid 17th century: from modern Latin missionarius, from Latin missio (see mission).

More definitions of missionary

Definition of missionary in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody