Min"is*ter (?), n. [OE. ministre, F. ministre, fr. L. minister, orig. a double comparative from the root of minor less, and hence meaning, an inferior, a servant. See 1st Minor, and cf. Master, Minstrel.]


A servant; a subordinate; an officer or assistant of inferior rank; hence, an agent, an instrument.

Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua. Ex. xxiv. 13.

I chose Camillo for the minister, to poison My friend Polixenes. Shak.


An officer of justice.


I cry out the on the ministres, quod he, That shoulde keep and rule this cit'e. Chaucer.


One to whom the sovereign or executive head of a government intrusts the management of affairs of state, or some department of such affairs.

Ministers to kings, whose eyes, ears, and hands they are, must be answerable to God and man. Bacon.


A representative of a government, sent to the court, or seat of government, of a foreign nation to transact diplomatic business.

Ambassadors are classed (in the diplomatic sense) in the first rank of public ministers, ministers plenipotentiary in the second. "The United States diplomatic service employs two classes of ministers, -- ministers plenipotentiary and ministers resident."



One who serves at the altar; one who performs sacerdotal duties; the pastor of a church duly authorized or licensed to preach the gospel and administer the sacraments.


Syn. -- Delegate; official; ambassador; clergyman; parson; priest.

© Webster 1913.

Min"is*ter, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Ministered (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Ministering.] [OE. ministren, OF. ministrer, fr. L. ministrare. See Minister, n.]

To furnish or apply; to afford; to supply; to administer.

He that ministereth seed to the sower. 2 Cor. ix. 10.

We minister to God reason to suspect us. Jer. Taylor.


© Webster 1913.

Min"is*ter, v. i.


To act as a servant, attendant, or agent; to attend and serve; to perform service in any office, sacred or secular.

The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. Matt. xx. 28.


To supply or to things needful; esp., to supply consolation or remedies.

Matt. xxv. 44.

Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased? Shak.

© Webster 1913.

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