verb (used with object)
- to invest with ministerial or sacerdotal functions; confer holy orders upon.
- to enact or establish by law, edict, etc.: to ordain a new type of government.
- to decree; give orders for: He ordained that the restrictions were to be lifted.
- (of God, fate, etc.) to destine or predestine: Fate had ordained the meeting.
verb (used without object)
- to order or command: Thus do the gods ordain.
- to select for or appoint to an office.
- to invest someone with sacerdotal functions.
- to consecrate (someone) as a priest; confer holy orders upon
- (may take a clause as object) to decree, appoint, or predestine irrevocably
- (may take a clause as object) to order, establish, or enact with authority
- obsolete to select for an office
v.late 13c., “to appoint or admit to the ministry of the Church,” from stem of Old French ordener “place in order, arrange, prepare; consecrate, designate” (Modern French ordonner) and directly from Latin ordinare “put in order, arrange, dispose, appoint,” from ordo (genitive ordinis) “order” (see order (n.)). The notion is “to confer holy orders upon.” Meaning “to decree, enact” is from c.1300; sense of “to set (something) that will continue in a certain order” is from early 14c. Related: Ordained; ordaining.