mission

Definitions

General English

Commerce

  • noun a group of people going on a journey for a special purpose

Military

  • noun a specific task assigned to a tactical grouping

Politics

  • noun a special purpose for which someone is sent somewhere
  • noun an important plan or goal
  • noun a group of people who visit another country for a special purpose, generally on government or official business
  • noun an embassy or consulate or building where representatives of a foreign country work

Wine

  • (written as Mission)
    the first red wine grape variety introduced into California, on the western coast of the US, by Spanish Catholic missionaries travelling up from Mexico in the 1700s. Little is grown today and the wines are normally of poor quality and only used for blending.

Origin & History of “mission”

Mission, etymologically a ‘sending’, is the hub of a large family of English words that come from the Latin verb mittere ‘let go, send’ or its stem miss-. most are prefixed forms – admit, commit, permit, promise, transmit, etc – but the unadorned verb is represented in mass ‘eucharist’, mess, missile (17th c.) (literally ‘something capable of being sent’), mission itself and its derivative missionary (17th c.), and missive (15th c.) (‘something sent’). The source of mittere is not known, but what does seem clear is that it originally meant ‘let go, throw’. this subsequently developed to ‘send’ and, in the post-classical period, to ‘put’ (hence French metre ‘put’).
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