Origin: OE. Ministren, OF. Ministrer, fr. L. Ministrare. See Minister.
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)
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)
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.
Origin: OE. Ministre, F. Ministre, fr. L. Minister, orig. A double comparative from the root of minor less, and hence meaning, an inferior, a servant. See 1st Minor, and cf. Master, Minstrel.