n. pl. min·is·tries
a. The act of serving; ministration.
b. One that serves as a means; an instrumentality.
a. The profession, duties, and services of a minister.
b. The Christian clergy.
c. The period of service of a minister.
a. A governmental department presided over by a minister.
b. The building in which such a department is housed.
c. The duties, functions, or term of a governmental minister.
d. often Ministry Governmental ministers considered as a group.
[Middle English ministerie, from Old French ministere, from Latin ministerium, from minister, servant; see mei-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.