min·is·ter / ˈminəstər/ • n. 1. (also minister of religion) a member of the clergy, esp. in Protestant churches. ∎ (also minister general) the superior of some religious orders. 2. (in certain countries) a head of a government department: Britain's defense minister. ∎ a diplomatic agent, usually ranking below an ambassador, representing a state or sovereign in a foreign country. 3. archaic a person or thing used to achieve or convey something: the Angels are ministers of the Divine Will. • v. [intr.] 1. (minister to) attend to the needs of (someone): her doctor was busy ministering to the injured. ∎ [tr.] archaic provide (something necessary or helpful): the story was able to minister true consolation. 2. act as a minister of religion. ∎ [tr.] administer (a sacrament). DERIVATIVES: min·is·ter·ship / -ˌship/ n.
So vb. (arch.) serve, supply, ADMINISTER. XIV. ministerial XVI. — F. ministériel or late L. ministeriālis. ministration XIV. — OF. or L. ministry rendering of service; function of a minister of religion XIV; body of ministers XVI (in politics XVIII). — L. ministerium.