Definition of mission in English:


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  • 1An important assignment carried out for political, religious, or commercial purposes, typically involving travel.

    ‘a trade mission to Mexico’
    • ‘They had an important mission to do, and he needed to remain focused.’
    • ‘During a long conversation with a senior administration official, I asked why Wilson was assigned the mission to Niger.’
    • ‘There are people who have already been assigned a mission to infiltrate and spy from the beginning.’
    • ‘Family members of Sept.11 victims traveled on a peace mission to Iraq in January.’
    • ‘The charge followed a fact-finding mission to the capital Sofia by Sir John Ramsden, head of the Foreign Office central and north-west Europe department.’
    • ‘Juni and Carmen undertake a renegade mission to an uncharted island full of strange creatures and enemy agents, with Gary and Gertie in pursuit.’
    • ‘And it is with this motto that he has undertaken the mission to walk throughout the country.’
    • ‘A hate crime task force has launched a mission to encourage victims of abuse, harassment and assault to report crimes.’
    • ‘As the Australian Crime Commission was being formed, the junior detective was sent on an important mission to Cambodia.’
    • ‘He entered the diplomatic service in 1856 and one of his first tasks was to lead a mission to Central Asia in 1858.’
    • ‘A factory foreman embarks on a dangerous mission to occupied France to retrieve important machinery.’
    • ‘A man who has led some amazing missions in different parts of the country was in York to talk to church leaders from all over North and East Yorkshire and York itself about plans for a mission to the region next year.’
    • ‘But the mission to India in 1942 was enough of a success to elevate Cripps to the job of leader of the House of Commons and into the war cabinet as minister of aircraft production.’
    • ‘After first realising the export possibilities while on a trade mission to Kuala Lumpur, Scrimgour made a concerted effort to discover new markets in developing countries.’
    • ‘The team undertook a fact-finding mission to assess how violence had affected minority women.’
    • ‘Once stability has been restored, plans will be drawn up for a trade mission to the country.’
    • ‘Indonesia and Spain have agreed to send more trade missions in the future in a bid to further promote trade relations between the two countries.’
    • ‘Likewise, some countries in the Middle East have also sent missions to the Philippines.’
    • ‘Modest EU missions have been sent to Macedonia, Bosnia and the Congo.’
    • ‘In addition, military-transport obligation does not apply to diplomatic missions and consular offices of foreign states.’
    assignment, commission, expedition, journey, trip, errand, undertaking, operation
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    1. 1.1treated as singular or plural A group of people sent on a mission.
      ‘by then, the mission had journeyed more than 3,500 miles’
      • ‘A joint government-Anglo-Jewish mission was sent out in May 1939 to Africa to assess appropriate settlement sites.’
      • ‘Even a UN security mission sent in to assess the situation had to turn back before reaching Mazar because it was too dangerous to proceed.’
      • ‘He said Indonesia and Malaysia would also form a joint mission to oversee and assess the reports made by the fact-finding mission.’
      delegation, deputation, commission, task force, legation, representation, delegacy
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    2. 1.2in singular An organization or institution involved in a long-term assignment in a foreign country.
      ‘the head of the West German mission’
      • ‘To introduce Indian culture to this crowd, the mission organizes a charity event called as ‘Sakura Bazaar’ each year.’
      • ‘For a time, these missions became powerful institutions in colonial South America.’
      • ‘On the outbreak of hostilities, diplomatic missions in enemy countries close down and the diplomats depart.’
      • ‘She established the Methodist mission hospital at Ikkadu near Madras, where she also served as a district magistrate.’
      • ‘During the second century, a vigorous Christian mission in North Africa established a large number of congregations for whose use the Greek Bible was translated into Latin.’
      • ‘Christian missions established a presence in the late 19th century and continue to play a role in Cameroonian life.’
      • ‘Christian missions were also establishing school in the region.’
      • ‘He was the medical doctor in charge of St. Mary's Hospital, a Catholic mission in Gula.’
      • ‘The appeal was set up after his most recent visit to the Christian Brothers run mission at Lukulu in Zambia.’
      • ‘Those alliances are visible in the very stones and wood of the mission buildings.’
      • ‘And in the span of a year, 46 nations have established or re-established diplomatic missions or embassies in Iraq.’
      • ‘Baptists established missions to Aborigines and the urban poor.’
      • ‘Within a week, he had visited a seventy-five-mile area and established missions in four tribal villages.’
      • ‘In 1996 a small mission hospital called the Good News Hospital was opened in Mandritsara, a market town in the northern interior of Madagascar.’
      • ‘In 1814 a small Christian mission was established, with little success at first, but progress by mid-century.’
      • ‘At that time Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox missions were established.’
      • ‘By the end of the nineteenth century, both Protestants and Catholics had established missions in the region.’
      • ‘However, Pearson grew up on a Lutheran mission station.’
      • ‘All these factors restricted missionaries consequently they tended to establish missions along the Kavango River and to avoid the interior.’
    3. 1.3An operation carried out by military aircraft.
      ‘he was shot down on a supply mission’
      • ‘So why use strategic airlift assets to carry out an airdrop mission with impact at the strategic level?’
      • ‘The A - 50 carries out patrol missions at an altitude of 5,000 to 10,000 metres.’
      • ‘American missions and RAF operations continued in support of the beachhead.’
      • ‘Malaysia has also pledged to send personnel to Indonesia and has provided two military aircraft for rescue missions.’
      • ‘As a special operations weather specialist, he supported combat search and rescue missions that used special operations aircraft.’
      • ‘The A109M can carry out various missions and operations in hot temperatures and high altitudes.’
      • ‘Group Captain Oddie said the mission already had aircraft well placed.’
      • ‘The military has been using unmanned, ground-controlled reconnaissance aircraft on missions over Iraq and Kosovo.’
      • ‘There have been special operations, bomber, missile and reconnaissance missions at the base over the years.’
      • ‘I did not see any enemy aircraft on the mission, just a lot of flak over Holland.’
      • ‘Some KC - 135 aircraft have been configured for other missions, such as reconnaissance and as a flying command post.’
      • ‘These tree skimming aircraft run reconnaissance missions deep into enemy territory, locating and taking out supposed threats.’
      • ‘Air superiority over the battlefield was retained at all times and the Air Force flew effective army co-operation and tactical reconnaissance missions.’
      • ‘It was the first time since the Vietnam War that Royal Australian Air Force aircraft have flown close air support missions in support of Australian ground troops in a war zone.’
      • ‘And with troops missing and a British plane down, several search and rescue missions have been flown.’
      • ‘Tony, who'd flown seven combat missions at the time, hadn't faced many threats.’
      • ‘There had always been questions as to whether the B-36 could accomplish its assigned mission.’
      • ‘He and his crew of nine were the first to complete 25 combat missions while operating out of England.’
      • ‘The pilot vanished on 31 July 1944 while flying a reconnaissance mission.’
      • ‘Five fighters and two bombers were assigned a mission to drop propaganda leaflets on the city.’
      sortie, operation, raid
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    4. 1.4An expedition into space.
      ‘NASA has approved a mission to investigate the atmosphere of Mars’
      • ‘Next month, NASA hopes to launch one of the most historic space exploration missions it has ever mounted.’
      • ‘Prizes have been proposed for other aspects of space exploration, including missions to Mars.’
      • ‘The agreement covers Space Shuttle missions supporting the International Space Station.’
      • ‘He is a veteran of four space flights and five space walks, including two missions to the Hubble Telescope.’
      • ‘The two NASA missions are being honored in the Aviation and Space category.’
      • ‘It calls for new robotic missions, new space vehicles, and new destinations.’
      • ‘For the next three years, at approximately six-month intervals, NASA sent more manned missions to the moon.’
      • ‘There is additional evidence that points against China planning near-term manned lunar missions.’
      • ‘China's plans for space exploration include unmanned missions to the moon and Mars in the next decade.’
      • ‘Despite that, he said the grounding of future shuttle missions opens the station to risk.’
      • ‘Are the scientific returns on a manned mission to Mars inherently important enough to justify its costs?’
      • ‘The importance of the mission to the scientific community is due to both the presence and the composition of the atmosphere.’
      • ‘The current plan for a human mission to Mars entails nine months of travel time in each direction in addition to one year on the planet itself.’
      • ‘Compared with the billions squandered on a vague mission in Iraq, a mission to Mars seems cheap.’
      • ‘Early tomorrow morning, China will send its second crewed mission into space.’
      • ‘The future role of Nasa has been thrown into question by a high-profile report that concludes the agency is not able to send crewed missions to the Moon and Mars on its own.’
      • ‘One boy asked if NASA would send missions to other planets, such as Mars.’
      • ‘Another of NASA's most successful missions today sent back spectacular new pictures of Mars.’
      • ‘If all goes ahead as planned, the orbiter will remain above Mars, once its work is done in 2004, to act as a communications satellite for future missions.’
      • ‘I am told that the idea of using this method of designing planetary missions was due to a graduate student - some years ago.’
      journey, voyage, tour, odyssey
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  • 2The vocation or calling of a religious organization, especially a Christian one, to go out into the world and spread its faith.

    ‘the Christian mission’
    • ‘Gandhi's attitude to mission and conversion’
    • ‘The majority of Catholics have little appreciation of their mission to spread the faith as a precious gift intended for all.’
    • ‘There is the one charged with the task of organizing the Christian mission in Britain and drawing it together as one Church.’
    • ‘Its purpose is to express the nature of Christian faith in terms of the mission of the Church.’
    • ‘This means that its interpretation is properly ecclesial, serving the mission of the church.’
    • ‘In light of the mission to spread the gospel, the division of the churches seemed pragmatically ineffective and theologically scandalous.’
    • ‘As expressed in the catechism in the Book of Common Prayer, the mission of the church is made explicit as the body of Christ.’
    • ‘As expressed in the baptismal theology of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, the mission of the Church is given in its life as the body of Christ.’
    • ‘The public debate has tended to concentrate on the criticism of the Catholic Church for a venture which was seen to be more like to the mission of the Evangelical Churches.’
    • ‘The issue of religion and politics takes on a deeper dimension when we come to consider ideas about the mission of the Christian church.’
    • ‘They agitate for power on the clericalist assumption that the Church and her mission belongs to the bishops.’
    • ‘Even if the act does remain secret, taking that risk greatly wrongs Jesus, the Church, and her mission.’
    • ‘Convey said that the bishops have come to believe that the education of the urban poor is one of the church's missions.’
    • ‘The reasonable restoration of discipline requires a renewed vision of the very purpose and mission of the church.’
    • ‘America is a Catholic magazine in the service of the Church and her mission.’
    • ‘Constants in Context is a survey of missiology, or the ways the church carries out its mission in the world.’
    • ‘The guiding principle for the Church in its mission is that it is concerned especially with people for their own sakes and for Christ's sake.’
    • ‘This usurps the sovereignty of God and places human speculation at the center of the Christian mission, which is inevitably fallible.’
    • ‘And to share in Christ's mission involves trusting Jesus above everything else.’
    • ‘Their faith and their commitment to God's mission were clear.’
    vocation, calling, pursuit, goal, aim, quest, undertaking, purpose, function
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    1. 2.1A building or group of buildings used by a Christian mission.
      ‘This same team will be building missions, weapons, and new features for years to come.’
      • ‘Economic recovery was painful but rapid, and by 1870 the church had even built its first mission.’
      • ‘Security was beefed up across the capital last night, especially around hotels and diplomatic missions, police said.’
      mission post, mission station, missionary organization
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  • 3A strongly felt aim, ambition, or calling.

    ‘his main mission in life has been to cut unemployment’
    • ‘He may well be a man with a mission but it's a mission far too ambitious for one man.’
    • ‘Given his book that was published yesterday, he talks very strongly about his mission.’
    • ‘It's fairly strict, and one of my main missions in trying to be a better songwriter is to learn how to properly break all the rules.’
    • ‘Even if your folks make fairness their main mission in life, they could never dole out exactly the same goodies at precisely the same time to all their kids.’
    • ‘He always thought that his main mission in life, and his greatest pleasure, was in teaching the deaf.’
    • ‘Clearly, we must actively and forcefully explain the importance of our fundamental mission to policy leaders and the general public.’
    • ‘In Oregon, some wounded members of the National Guard have made it their mission to make sure their fellow soldiers get the welcome that they deserve.’
    • ‘Dr. Phil has made it his mission to help find Holloway.’
    • ‘But today, I had a mission, a mission to go to the library and finish my history project.’
    • ‘The academy's mission is to send out the message that women are not weak and will stand up against abuse.’
    • ‘These three themes represent the political/social mission of Canadians.’
    • ‘His mission was to spread the word of God to people living in the depths of the Amazon rain forest.’
    aim, goal, purpose, objective, object, grail, holy grail, target, mission
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/ˈmiSH(ə)n/ /ˈmɪʃ(ə)n/


Mid 16th century (denoting the sending of the Holy Spirit into the world): from Latin missio(n-), from mittere ‘send’.