Definition: Missionary

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mission + -ary, learned borrowing from Latin missiō, missiōnem (a sending, sending away, dispatching, discharging, release, remission, cessation).


missionary (countable and uncountable, plural missionaries)

  1. One who is sent on a mission.
  2. (religion) A person who travels attempting to spread a religion or creed (Particularly used in context of Christianity).
    Over thirty years ago when the pastor lived in Africa, the missionaries from Japan told him the ways of Unification thought.

Derived terms

  • missionary bishop
  • missionary linguist
  • missionary rector
  • missionary zeal


missionary (not comparable)

  1. Relating to a (religious) mission.


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