Definition of ordain in English:


See synonyms for ordain

Translate ordain into Spanish

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Make (someone) a priest or minister; confer holy orders on.

    ‘he was ordained a minister before entering Parliament’
    • ‘women ordained to the diaconate’
    • ‘an ordained clergyman’
    • ‘While in Golden, he was ordained an Episcopal minister and later served residents in Colorado's mining camps during his scientific excursions.’
    • ‘He was ordained a minister two years ago and is pastor of Perfecting Faith Church in Freeport, New York, which has more than 400 members.’
    • ‘He was finally ordained as a Presbyterian minister after moving to Utica, New York, in 1822 to become principal of a school.’
    • ‘The churches responded in a variety of ways - by merging parishes, by abandoning unwanted churches, by institutional amalgamations, and by ordaining women ministers and priests.’
    • ‘Born in Armagh, he was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1946, and established the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster in 1951.’
    • ‘Groves believed there was no need for him to be ordained to minister the Word of God.’
    • ‘In 1803, he was ordained minister of the Federal Street Church (now the Arlington Street Church) in Boston.’
    • ‘At 23, Jackson was ordained as a minister in the African Zionist church, while learning wood-carving from his father.’
    • ‘He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1946, and is attached to the diocese of Varanasi in India.’
    • ‘He was ordained as a Lutheran minister in 1819 and later entered the Presbyterian ministry.’
    • ‘At some point along the way he was ordained as a Pentecostal minister.’
    • ‘He was ordained a minister of the Church of Scotland by the Presbytery of Edinburgh in 1936.’
    • ‘John Paul traces his pastoral concern for the young back to his work with them soon after he was ordained a priest.’
    • ‘In 1959 Andrew was ordained as a minister and has served the Lord faithfully in different ministries, pastoring churches in Mexico and Texas.’
    • ‘In 1932, he was ordained as a minister and married in 1933.’
    • ‘In 1948 Dad was ordained a minister in the Chortitzer Mennonite Church and served until 1981, when he retired from that service.’
    • ‘In 1848 Newman went to Rome where he was ordained to the priesthood, then founded the Oratory at Birmingham in 1848.’
    • ‘In 1655, with a degree from Padua, he was ordained to the priesthood.’
    • ‘He was ordained to the priesthood in 1987 by Dublin auxiliary Bishop Des Williams.’
    • ‘He was ordained as a diocesan priest in the year 1984.’
    confer holy orders on, appoint, induct, install, invest, anoint, consecrate
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  • 2Order or decree (something) officially.

    ‘equal punishment was ordained for the two crimes’
    • ‘It struck me that many West Virginians delighted in telling stories of what happened to their lives the moment the court ordained desegregation.’
    • ‘She had run from the devastation she had caused and from her brethren, who pursued her to bring her to justice ordained by the council.’
    • ‘Apparently, it was ordained that two brothers could not be so close, and Paddy was transferred.’
    • ‘In 1398, it was ordained that his feast-day was to be kept by every church in the Province of Canterbury.’
    decree, rule, order, command, enjoin, lay down, set down, establish, fix, enact, legislate, dictate, prescribe, pronounce
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    1. 2.1(especially of God or fate) prescribe; determine (something)
      ‘the path ordained by God’
      • ‘It is not ordained by God or determined by Nature.’
      • ‘Surrender, compromise with the regime, or a cease-fire means abandoning the path ordained by God and signifies an abrogation of the faith.’
      • ‘In any event, traditionalist liberals are just as able to claim that their faith is directly ordained by God, rather than simply a matter of human interpretation, as are reactionaries.’
      • ‘It was ordained by God that man and woman should marry and raise families.’
      • ‘And you can trust that it is ordained by God himself because Brian Tamaki tells you so.’
      • ‘God ordains the situation in which we find ourselves.’
      • ‘Even Livy thought that ‘the fates ordained the founding of this great city and the beginning of the word's mightiest empire, second only to the power of the gods.’’
      • ‘They're not ordained by God's invisible hand in the market.’
      • ‘The day has not yet arrived when our lowly bodies will be transformed to be like his glorious body - but that day is coming, God has ordained it!’
      • ‘Based on this premise, Augustine postulated that any war ordained by God was, by default, just.’
      • ‘All governments are ordained by God and hence David's ire at the messenger who brought the message of Saul's death.’
      • ‘Joseph's parents know that he is a miracle child with a special destiny ordained by God.’
      • ‘Obedience to the state in time of war was ordained by God and was a religious duty.’
      • ‘It may seem you are making your own destiny, but always you follow the path Fate ordained.’
      • ‘But fate ordained otherwise, and he lost his life in the most tragic way as he was lending a helping hand at the new home his daughter Jane and her husband were building.’
      • ‘To think that separation should be considered between us before fate had so ordained!’
      • ‘God has ordained that the souls in Purgatory can receive effective help from the faithful on earth.’
      • ‘Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.’
      • ‘God and/or the king had ordained it, and they were powerless.’
      predetermine, predestine, preordain, foreordain, destine, prescribe, fate, will, determine, designate
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/ôrˈdān/ /ɔrˈdeɪn/


Middle English (also in the sense ‘put in order’): from Anglo-Norman French ordeiner, from Latin ordinare, from ordo, ordin- (see order).