Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Minion noun Minimum. [ Obsolete] Burton.

Minion noun [ French mignon , from Old High German minni love, German minne ; akin to English mind . See Mind , and confer Mignonette .]


1. A loved one; one highly esteemed and favored; -- in a good sense. [ Obsolete]

God's disciple and his dearest minion .
Sylvester.

Is this the Athenian minion whom the world
Voiced so regardfully?
Shak.

2. An obsequious or servile dependent or agent of another; a fawning favorite. Sir J. Davies.

Go, rate thy minions , proud, insulting boy!
Shak.

3. (Print.) A small kind of type, in size between brevier and nonpareil.

» This line is printed in minion type.

4. An ancient form of ordnance, the caliber of which was about three inches. [ Obsolete] Beau. & Fl.

Minion adjective [ See 2d Minion .] Fine; trim; dainty. [ Obsolete] "Their . . . minion dancing." Fryth.

Minionette adjective Small; delicate. [ Obsolete] "His minionette face." Walpole.

Minionette noun (Print.) A size of type between nonpareil and minion; -- used in ornamental borders, etc.

Minioning noun Kind treatment. [ Obsolete]

Minionize transitive verb To flavor. [ Obsolete]

Minionlike, Minionly adjective & adverb Like a minion; daintily. Camden.

Minionship noun State of being a minion. [ R.]

Minious adjective [ Latin minium red lead.] Of the color of red or vermilion. [ Obsolete] Sir T. Browne.

Minish transitive verb [ Middle English menusen , French menuiser to make small, cut small, from (assumed) Late Latin minutiare , for minutare , from Latin minutus small. See Minute , adjective , and confer Diminish , Minge .] To diminish; to lessen.

The living of poor men thereby minished .
Latimer.

Minishment noun The act of diminishing, or the state of being diminished; diminution. [ Obsolete]

Minister noun [ Middle English ministre , French ministre , from Latin minister , orig. a double comparative from the root of minor less, and hence meaning, an inferior, a servant. See 1st Minor , and confer Master , Minstrel .]


1. 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.

2. An officer of justice. [ Obsolete]

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

3. 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.

4. 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." Abbott.

5. 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. Addison.

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

Minister transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Ministered ; present participle & verbal noun Ministering .] [ Middle English ministren , Old French ministrer , from Latin ministrare . See Minister , noun ] 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.

Minister intransitive verb
1. 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.

2. To supply or to things needful; esp., to supply consolation or remedies. Matt. xxv. 44.

Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased?
Shak.

Ministerial adjective [ Latin ministerialis : confer French ministériel . See Minister , and confer Minstrel .]


1. Of or pertaining to ministry or service; serving; attendant.

Enlightening spirits and ministerial flames.
Prior.

2. Of or pertaining to the office of a minister or to the ministry as a body, whether civil or sacerdotal. " Ministerial offices." Bacon. "A ministerial measure." Junius. " Ministerial garments." Hooker.

3. Tending to advance or promote; contributive. " Ministerial to intellectual culture." De Quincey.

The ministerial benches , the benches in the House of Commons occupied by members of the cabinet and their supporters; -- also, the persons occupying them. "Very solid and very brilliant talents distinguish the ministerial benches ." Burke.

Syn. -- Official; priestly; sacerdotal; ecclesiastical.

Ministerialist noun A supporter of the ministers, or the party in power.

Ministerially adverb In a ministerial manner; in the character or capacity of a minister.

Ministery noun See Ministry . Milton.

Ministracy noun Ministration. [ Obsolete]

Ministral adjective Ministerial. [ Obsolete] Johnson.

Ministrant (mĭn"ĭs*tr a nt) adjective [ Latin ministrans , -antis , of ministrare to minister.] Performing service as a minister; attendant on service; acting under command; subordinate. "Princedoms and dominations ministrant ." Milton. -- noun One who ministers.

Ministration noun [ Latin ministratio , from ministrare .] The act of ministering; service; ministry. "The days of his ministration ." Luke i. 23.

Ministrative adjective Serving to aid; ministering.

Ministress noun [ Confer Latin ministrix .] A woman who ministers. Akenside.

Ministry noun ; plural Ministries . [ Latin ministerium . See Minister , noun , and confer Mystery a trade.]


1. The act of ministering; ministration; service. "With tender ministry ." Thomson.

2. Hence: Agency; instrumentality.

The ordinary ministry of second causes.
Atterbury.

The wicked ministry of arms.
Dryden.

3. The office, duties, or functions of a minister, servant, or agent; ecclesiastical, executive, or ambassadorial function or profession.

4. The body of ministers of state; also, the clergy, as a body.

5. Administration; rule; term in power; as, the ministry of Pitt.

Ministryship noun The office of a minister. Swift.

Minium noun [ Latin minium , an Iberian word, the Romans getting all their cinnabar from Spain; confer Basque armineá .] (Chemistry) A heavy, brilliant red pigment, consisting of an oxide of lead, Pb 3 O 4 , obtained by exposing lead or massicot to a gentle and continued heat in the air. It is used as a cement, as a paint, and in the manufacture of flint glass. Called also red lead .

Miniver noun [ See Meniver .] A fur esteemed in the Middle Ages as a part of costume. It is uncertain whether it was the fur of one animal only or of different animals.

Minivet noun (Zoology) A singing bird of India of the family Campephagidæ .

Mink noun [ Confer 2d Minx .] (Zoology) A carnivorous mammal of the genus Putorius , allied to the weasel. The European mink is Putorius lutreola . The common American mink ( P. vison ) varies from yellowish brown to black. Its fur is highly valued. Called also minx , nurik , and vison .

Minnesinger noun [ G., from minne love + singen to sing.] A love-singer; specifically, one of a class of German poets and musicians who flourished from about the middle of the twelfth to the middle of the fourteenth century. They were chiefly of noble birth, and made love and beauty the subjects of their verses.

Minnow noun [ Middle English menow , confer Anglo-Saxon myne ; also Middle English menuse , Old French menuise small fish; akin to English minish , minute .] [ Written also minow .]


1. (Zoology) A small European fresh-water cyprinoid fish ( Phoxinus lævis , formerly Leuciscus phoxinus ); sometimes applied also to the young of larger kinds; -- called also minim and minny . The name is also applied to several allied American species, of the genera Phoxinus , Notropis , or Minnilus , and Rhinichthys .

2. (Zoology) Any of numerous small American cyprinodont fishes of the genus Fundulus , and related genera. They live both in fresh and in salt water. Called also killifish , minny , and mummichog .

Minny noun (Zoology) A minnow.

Mino bird (mī"no bẽrd). [ Hind. mainā .] (Zoology) An Asiatic bird ( Gracula musica ), allied to the starlings. It is black, with a white spot on the wings, and a pair of flat yellow wattles on the head. It is often tamed and taught to pronounce words.

Minor (mī"nẽr) adjective [ Latin , a comparative with no positive; akin to Anglo-Saxon min small, German minder less, Old High German minniro , adjective , min , adverb , Icelandic minni , adjective , minnr , adverb , Goth. minniza , adjective , mins , adverb , Ir. & Gael. min small, tender, Latin minuere to lessen, Greek miny`qein , Sanskrit mi to damage. Confer Minish , Minister , Minus , Minute .]


1. Inferior in bulk, degree, importance, etc.; less; smaller; of little account; as, minor divisions of a body.

2. (Mus.) Less by a semitone in interval or difference of pitch; as, a minor third.

Asia Minor (Geology) , the Lesser Asia; that part of Asia which lies between the Euxine, or Black Sea, on the north, and the Mediterranean on the south. -- Minor mode (Mus.) , that mode, or scale, in which the third and sixth are minor, -- much used for mournful and solemn subjects. -- Minor orders (Eccl.) , the rank of persons employed in ecclesiastical offices who are not in holy orders, as doorkeepers, acolytes, etc. -- Minor scale (Mus.) The form of the minor scale is various. The strictly correct form has the third and sixth minor, with a semitone between the seventh and eighth, which involves an augmented second interval, or three semitones, between the sixth and seventh, as, 6/F , 7/G♯ , 8/A . But, for melodic purposes, both the sixth and the seventh are sometimes made major in the ascending, and minor in the descending, scale, thus: --

See Major .
-- Minor term of a syllogism (Logic) , the subject of the conclusion.

Minor noun
1. A person of either sex who has not attained the age at which full civil rights are accorded; an infant; in England and the United States, one under twenty-one years of age.

» In hereditary monarchies, the minority of a sovereign ends at an earlier age than of a subject. The minority of a sovereign of Great Britain ends upon the completion of the eighteenth year of his age.

2. (Logic) The minor term, that is, the subject of the conclusion; also, the minor premise, that is, that premise which contains the minor term; in hypothetical syllogisms, the categorical premise. It is the second proposition of a regular syllogism, as in the following: Every act of injustice partakes of meanness; to take money from another by gaming is an act of injustice; therefore, the taking of money from another by gaming partakes of meanness.

3. A Minorite; a Franciscan friar.

Minorat noun [ G. Confer Minor , adjective ] (Law) A custom or right, analogous to borough-English in England, formerly existing in various parts of Europe, and surviving in parts of Germany and Austria, by which certain entailed estates, as a homestead and adjacent land, descend to the youngest male heir.

Minorate transitive verb [ Latin minoratus ; past participle of minorare to diminish, from minor , adjective See 1st Minor .] To diminish. [ R.] Sir T. Browne.

Minoration noun [ Latin minoratio : confer French minoration .] A diminution. [ R.] Sir T. Browne.

Minoress noun See Franciscan Nuns , under Franciscan , adjective

Minorite noun [ Latin minor less. Confer 2d Minor , 3.] A Franciscan friar.

Minority noun ; plural Minorities . [ Confer French minorité . See Minor , adjective & noun ]


1. The state of being a minor, or under age.

2. State of being less or small. [ Obsolete] Sir T. Browne.

3. The smaller number; -- opposed to majority ; as, the minority must be ruled by the majority.

Minos noun [ Greek ....] (Class. Myth.) A king and lawgiver of Crete, fabled to be the son of Jupiter and Europa. After death he was made a judge in the Lower Regions.

Minotaur (mĭn"o*tar) noun [ Latin Minotaurus , Greek Minw`tayros ; Mi`nos , the husband of Pasiphaë + tay^ros a bull, the Minotaur being the offspring of Pasiphaë and a bull: confer French minotaure .] (Class. Myth.) A fabled monster, half man and half bull, confined in the labyrinth constructed by Dædalus in Crete.

Minow noun See Minnow .

Minster noun [ Anglo-Saxon mynster , from Latin monasterium . See Monastery .] (Architecture) A church of a monastery. The name is often retained and applied to the church after the monastery has ceased to exist (as Beverly Minster , Southwell Minster , etc.), and is also improperly used for any large church.

Minster house , the official house in which the canons of a cathedral live in common or in rotation. Shipley.

Minstrel noun [ Middle English minstrel , menestral , Old French menestrel , from Late Latin ministerialis servant, workman (cf. ministrellus harpist), from Latin ministerium service. See Ministry , and confer Ministerial .] In the Middle Ages, one of an order of men who subsisted by the arts of poetry and music, and sang verses to the accompaniment of a harp or other instrument; in modern times, a poet; a bard; a singer and harper; a musician. Chaucer.

Minstrelsy noun
1. The arts and occupation of minstrels; the singing and playing of a minstrel.

2. Musical instruments. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

3. A collective body of minstrels, or musicians; also, a collective body of minstrels' songs. Chaucer. "The minstrelsy of heaven." Milton.