c. 1200, savacioun, saluatiun, sauvacioun, etc., originally in the Christian sense, "the saving of the soul, deliverance from the power of sin and admission to eternal bliss," from Old French salvaciun and directly from Late Latin salvationem (nominative salvatio, a Church Latin translation of Greek soteria), noun of action from past-participle stem of salvare "to save" (see save (v.)).
The general (non-religious) sense of "protection or preservation from destruction, danger, calamity, etc." is attested by late 14c. Also from late 14c. as "source, cause, or means of salvation; a preserver, defender." Salvation Army, with quasi-military organization and a mission to spark revival among the masses, is attested from 1878; it was founded 1865 as the Christian Mission by Methodist evangelist the Rev. William Booth (1829-1912).
c. 1200, "one who bestows something;" mid-15c., "person who sends (someone) on a mission;" agent noun from send (v.). In telegraphy, "a transmitter of a message," also the person transmitting it, by 1863. In 1930s slang, a popular musician or song, from the jazz slang sense of the verb. Sendee is recorded from 1806.
city in Minnesota, U.S., founded 1850s and named for French pioneer explorer Daniel Greysolon, sieur du Luth, "the Robin Hood of Canada," the leader of the coureurs de bois, who passed through the region in 1678 on a mission into the wilderness.
early 15c., expedicioun, "military campaign; the act of rapidly setting forth," from Old French expedicion "an expediting, implementation; expedition, mission" (13c.) and directly from Latin expeditionem (nominative expeditio) "an enterprise against an enemy, a military campaign," noun of action from past-participle stem of expedire "make ready, prepare" (see expedite). Meaning "journey for some purpose" is from 1590s. Sense by 1690s also included the body of persons on such a journey.
1570s, "position of an ambassador," from French embassee "mission, charge, office of ambassador," Old French ambassee, from Italian ambasciata, from Old Provençal ambaisada "office of ambassador," from Gaulish *ambactos "dependant, vassal," literally "one going around" (from PIE *amb(i)-ag-to, from roots *ambhi- "around" + *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move").
Meaning "official residence and retinue of an ambassador" is from 1764. In earlier use were embassade (late 15c.), ambassade (early 15c.), from Old French variant ambassade.
Old English ærende "message, mission; answer, news, tidings," from Proto-Germanic *airundija- "message, errand" (source also of Old Saxon arundi, Old Norse erendi, Danish ærinde, Swedish ärende, Old Frisian erende, Old High German arunti "message"), which is of uncertain origin. Compare Old English ar "messenger, servant, herald." Originally of important missions; meaning "short, simple journey and task" is attested by 1640s. Related: Errands. In Old English, ærendgast was "angel," ærendraca was "ambassador."
"to destroy," 1958, probably a back-formation from destruction in the jargon of U.S. aerospace and defense workers to refer to deliberate destruction of a missile in flight by a friendly agent; popularized 1966 in form self-destruct in the voice-over at the beginning of TV spy drama "Mission Impossible." OED records an isolated use of destructed from 17c., in this case probably from Latin destructus, past participle of destruere.