Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

mission - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun     mission pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [countable] an important piece of work that a person or group of people has to do for a government or large organization, especially one that involves travel

    The President leaves for a trade mission to the Middle East.

    1. a.
      a group of people sent to do an important piece of work

      The UN peacekeeping mission has arrived in the capital.

  2. 2
    [countable] a military operation, especially one by aircraft

    He was shot down during a mission over the Balkans.

  3. 3
    [countable] a flight into space

    the possibility of a manned mission to Mars

  4. 4
    [singular] an aim that is very important to a person or organization
    mission in life (=a personal goal):

    Helping homeless people was Gina’s mission in life.

    mission to do something:

    It is the international community’s mission to end terrorism.

  5. 5
    [countable/uncountable] the activity of people who are sent to a place by a religious organization to teach people there about a particular religion

    the Catholic mission in Papua New Guinea

    1. a.
      [countable] the building used by people who do the work of a mission
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Open Dictionary

snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play