Definition of ordain in US English:



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

    • ‘He was ordained a minister of the Church of Scotland by the Presbytery of Edinburgh in 1936.’
    • ‘Born in Armagh, he was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1946, and established the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster in 1951.’
    • ‘He was finally ordained as a Presbyterian minister after moving to Utica, New York, in 1822 to become principal of a school.’
    • ‘In 1848 Newman went to Rome where he was ordained to the priesthood, then founded the Oratory at Birmingham in 1848.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘John Paul traces his pastoral concern for the young back to his work with them soon after he was ordained a priest.’
    • ‘In 1655, with a degree from Padua, he was ordained to the priesthood.’
    • ‘In 1803, he was ordained minister of the Federal Street Church (now the Arlington Street Church) in Boston.’
    • ‘In 1932, he was ordained as a minister and married in 1933.’
    • ‘He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1946, and is attached to the diocese of Varanasi in India.’
    • ‘While in Golden, he was ordained an Episcopal minister and later served residents in Colorado's mining camps during his scientific excursions.’
    • ‘At 23, Jackson was ordained as a minister in the African Zionist church, while learning wood-carving from his father.’
    • ‘At some point along the way he was ordained as a Pentecostal minister.’
    • ‘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 ordained as a diocesan priest in the year 1984.’
    • ‘Groves believed there was no need for him to be ordained to minister the Word of God.’
    • ‘He was ordained to the priesthood in 1987 by Dublin auxiliary Bishop Des Williams.’
    • ‘In 1948 Dad was ordained a minister in the Chortitzer Mennonite Church and served until 1981, when he retired from that service.’
    • ‘In 1959 Andrew was ordained as a minister and has served the Lord faithfully in different ministries, pastoring churches in Mexico and Texas.’
    • ‘He was ordained as a Lutheran minister in 1819 and later entered the Presbyterian ministry.’
    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’
    • ‘In 1398, it was ordained that his feast-day was to be kept by every church in the Province of Canterbury.’
    • ‘Apparently, it was ordained that two brothers could not be so close, and Paddy was transferred.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It struck me that many West Virginians delighted in telling stories of what happened to their lives the moment the court ordained desegregation.’
    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’
      • ‘Based on this premise, Augustine postulated that any war ordained by God was, by default, just.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And you can trust that it is ordained by God himself because Brian Tamaki tells you so.’
      • ‘It is not ordained by God or determined by Nature.’
      • ‘Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.’
      • ‘They're not ordained by God's invisible hand in the market.’
      • ‘Milingo's message in that open letter was that time was nigh for the Catholic Church to do away with celibacy vows as it was ordained by God that man and woman should marry and raise families.’
      • ‘All governments are ordained by God and hence David's ire at the messenger who brought the message of Saul's death.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘Surrender, compromise with the regime, or a cease-fire means abandoning the path ordained by God and signifies an abrogation of the faith.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘God and/or the king had ordained it, and they were powerless.’
      • ‘Only such a marriage can be the basis of a healthy society, because God ordained it should be so.’
      • ‘God has ordained that the souls in Purgatory can receive effective help from the faithful on earth.’
      • ‘To think that separation should be considered between us before fate had so ordained!’
      • ‘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!’
      predetermine, predestine, preordain, foreordain, destine, prescribe, fate, will, determine, designate
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Middle English (also in the sense ‘put in order’): from Anglo-Norman French ordeiner, from Latin ordinare, from ordo, ordin- (see order).