administer (v.)

late 14c., aministren, later administren, "to manage as a steward, control or regulate on behalf of others," from Old French aministrer "help, aid, be of service to" (12c., Modern French administrer), and directly from Latin administrare "to help, assist; manage, control, guide, superintend; rule, direct," from ad "to" (see ad-) + ministrare "to serve, attend, wait upon," from minister "inferior, servant, priest's assistant" (see minister (n.)).

The -d- was restored 14c.-16c. in French and after 15c. in English. In reference to punishment, justice, etc., "to dispense, bring into operation" (especially as an officer), from mid-15c. In reference to medicines, medical treatment, etc., "to give," from 1540s. Related: Administered; administering.

Origin and meaning of administer

updated on October 13, 2021

Definitions of administer from WordNet

administer (v.)
work in an administrative capacity; supervise or be in charge of;
she administers the funds
administer a program
Synonyms: administrate
administer (v.)
perform (a church sacrament) ritually;
administer the last unction
administer (v.)
administer or bestow, as in small portions;
administer critical remarks to everyone present
Synonyms: distribute / mete out / deal / parcel out / lot / dispense / shell out / deal out / dish out / allot / dole out
administer (v.)
give or apply (medications);
Synonyms: dispense
administer (v.)
direct the taking of;
administer an oath
administer an exam
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