What does ordain mean?

Definitions for ordain

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word ordain.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. ordain, enactverb

    order by virtue of superior authority; decree

    "The King ordained the persecution and expulsion of the Jews"; "the legislature enacted this law in 1985"

  2. ordain, consecrate, ordinate, orderverb

    appoint to a clerical posts

    "he was ordained in the Church"

  3. ordainverb

    invest with ministerial or priestly authority

    "The minister was ordained only last month"

  4. ordainverb

    issue an order


  1. ordainverb

    to prearrange unalterably

  2. ordainverb

    to decree

  3. ordainverb

    to admit into the ministry of the Christian church

  4. ordainverb

    to authorize as a rabbi

  5. ordainverb

    to predestine

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Ordainverb

    Etymology: ordino, Lat. ordonner, Fr.

    Know the cause why musick was ordain’d;
    Was it not to refresh the mind of man
    After his studies, or his usual pain? William Shakespeare.

    Jeroboam ordained a feast. I Kings xii. 32.

    He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors. Ps. vii. 13.

    As many as were ordained to eternal life, believed. Acts. xiii. 48.

    He commanded us to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead. Acts x. 42.

    The fatal tent,
    The scene of death, and place ordain’d for punishment. Dryd.

    To souls oppress’d and dumb with grief,
    The Gods ordain this kind relief,
    That musick should in sounds convey
    What dying lovers dare not say. Edmund Waller.

    My reason bends to what thy eyes ordain;
    For I was born to love, and thou to reign. Matthew Prior.

    Ordain’d our laws, whose use the sword of Caesar
    Hath too much mangled. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    I will ordain a place for Israel I Chron. xvii. 9.

    God from Sinai descending, will himself
    In thinder, lightning, and loud trumpets sound,
    Ordain them laws. John Milton, Par. Lost, b. xii.

    For thee I have ordain’d it, and
    Have suffer’d, that the glory may be thine
    Of ending this great war; since none but thou
    Can end it. John Milton, Par. Lost, b. vi.

    Some laws ordain, amd some attend the choice
    Of holy senates, and elect by voice. Dryden.

    All signified unto you by a man, who is ordained over the affairs, shall be utterly destroyed. Esther, xiii. 6.

    Meletius was ordained by Arian bishops, and yete his ordination was never questioned. Edward Stillingfleet.


  1. ordain

    Ordination is the process by which individuals are consecrated, that is, set apart and elevated from the laity class to the clergy, who are thus then authorized (usually by the denominational hierarchy composed of other clergy) to perform various religious rites and ceremonies. The process and ceremonies of ordination vary by religion and denomination. One who is in preparation for, or who is undergoing the process of ordination is sometimes called an ordinand. The liturgy used at an ordination is sometimes referred to as an ordination.


  1. ordain

    To ordain is to officially establish, decree, or appoint someone to a specific role or position, often in a religious context such as a minister or priest. It can also mean to make something happen or arrange in a particular way.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Ordain

    or-dān′, v.t. to put in order: to appoint: to dispose or regulate: to set apart for an office: to invest with ministerial functions.—adj. Ordain′able.—ns. Ordain′er; Ordain′ment.—adj. Or′dinal, showing order or succession.—n. a number noting order or place among others: a body of regulations, a book containing forms and rules for ordination.—n. Or′dinance, that which is ordained by authority: a law: a religious practice or right established by authority.—adj. Or′dinant (Shak.), ordaining, decreeing.—n. one who ordains, as a bishop—opp. to Or′dinand, or one who is to be ordained.—n. Ordinā′tion, the act of ordaining: admission to the Christian ministry by the laying on of hands of a bishop or a presbytery: established order. [O. Fr. ordener (Fr. ordonner)—L. ordināre, -ātumordo.]

Matched Categories

Anagrams for ordain »

  1. Dorian

  2. draino

  3. inroad

  4. radion

  5. Rodina

How to pronounce ordain?

How to say ordain in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of ordain in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of ordain in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of ordain in a Sentence

  1. Tom Berlin:

    Some churches will begin to do what they desire. They will test this new legislation by performing marriages and some conferences will ordain gay clergy.

  2. Sharon Salzberg:

    Any ordinary favor we do for someone or any compassionate reaching out may seem to be going nowhere at first, but may be planting a seed we can't see right now. Sometimes we need to just do the best we can and then trust in an unfolding we can't design or ordain.

  3. Walt Whitman:

    From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, Going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.

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Translations for ordain

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"ordain." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 3 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/ordain>.

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    To make worse
    • A. huff
    • B. monish
    • C. exacerbate
    • D. descant

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