n pl , -tries
a the profession or duties of a minister of religion
b the performance of these duties
2 ministers of religion or government ministers considered collectively
3 the tenure of a minister
a a government department headed by a minister
b the buildings of such a department
(C14: from Latin ministerium service, from minister servant; see minister)
English Collins Dictionary - English Definition & Thesaurus
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"Collins English Dictionary 5th Edition first published in 2000 © HarperCollins Publishers 1979, 1986, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"