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Line breaks: min¦is|ter
Pronunciation: /ˈmɪnɪstə

Definition of minister in English:


1(In certain countries) a head of a government department: the Defence Minister
More example sentences
  • The decision not to send a message of support this year brought private criticism from ministers and backbench MSPs.
  • It seems to me that the way modern politics works, the Prime Minister of the day is very reliant on his ministers and backbench for policy support.
  • Usually when a minister's backbench committee opposes or has serious concerns about a plan, it triggers a rethink.
member of the government, political leader, cabinet minister, secretary of state, secretary, undersecretary, department head, privy counsellor, politician;
Indian diwan
2 (also minister of religion) A member of the clergy, especially in the Presbyterian and Nonconformist Churches: a minister of the Lutheran church a Unitarian minister
More example sentences
  • First we say that Justice Bleby incorrectly formulated the test for an intention to create legal relations in the context of a church and a minister of religion.
  • This is a most refreshing new look at the book of Ecclesiastes, by the minister of Ravesby Presbyterian Church, Sydney.
  • Dr. Gentry is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America.
2.1 (also minister general) The superior of some religious orders.
Example sentences
  • The act provided exemptions to men with certain disabilities, ministers of religious orders, theological students, and conscientious objectors.
3A diplomatic agent, usually ranking below an ambassador, representing a state or sovereign in a foreign country.
Example sentences
  • Last week, Baroness Symons, a Foreign Office minister, announced that Ambassador Craig Murray would go back to Tashkent.
  • And since this purported sale was between two sovereign governments, the minister of foreign affairs would have to be involved.
  • Foreign Office minister Lord Triesman will represent the government at the ceremony in Khao Lak.
consul, delegate, representative, aide, dignitary, official


[no object] Back to top  
1 (minister to) Attend to the needs of (someone): her doctor was busy ministering to the injured
More example sentences
  • There may also be room for optional characters, like a Horse Doctor to minister to Old Ball, or a supernumerary mummer who will be called Patsie.
  • I spend a lot of time attending and ministering to others while no one particularly cares about my needs (emotionally or otherwise)
  • I can pretty much say that every continent I've heard from, from people that he's ministered to, people that don't know him.
2Act as a minister of religion: will these women be permitted to minister as priests?
More example sentences
  • She introduces the narrator to Jerome Strozzi, an aging priest who ministers to society's throwaways.
  • As much as they might complain about some of their parishioners, parish priests ministered at some point to almost every person in France, particularly at key transitional moments in their lives.
  • Priests from religious orders and the diocesan priests both ministered in that part of Down.
cater to, serve, wait on, accommodate, be solicitous of, pander to
informal doctor
2.1 [with object] Administer (a sacrament): bishops in England were faced with a loss of priests to minister the sacraments
More example sentences
  • Will you continue as faithful stewards of the mysteries of God, preaching the Gospel of Christ, and ministering his holy sacraments?
  • It is a thing plainly repugnant to the word of God and the custom of the primitive Church, to have public prayer in the Church, or to minister the sacraments in a tongue not understanded of the people.
  • But thirteen years have passed, and Augustine was now responsible for ministering the word and sacraments to his people.


Middle English ( in sense 2 of the noun); also in the sense 'a person acting under the authority of another'): from Old French ministre (noun), ministrer (verb), from Latin minister 'servant', from minus 'less'.



Example sentences
  • One does not understand why the Congress legislators were keen for ministerships if they could not satisfy the people's aspirations.
  • Ten per cent of all the ministerships in all the States should be reserved for beggars to improve their standard of living overnight!
  • So it is not unlikely that, once she consolidates her chief ministership, she is bound to practise her own personalised style of governance, baring her fangs wherever necessary.

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