A mission is a special quest, one that involves more effort than, say, a trip to the corner store. If you were to drive all around the state searching garage sales for porcelain cats, you could say you were on a mission.

Mission comes from a Latin word that means “to send.” It was first used by Jesuit missionaries who sent members of their order overseas to establish schools and churches. Foreign travel is still associated with the word. When diplomats and humanitarian workers travel abroad, we often refer to those trips as missions.

Definitions of mission

n an operation that is assigned by a higher headquarters

“the planes were on a bombing mission
military mission
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combat mission
a mission to capture or defend something
search mission
a mission to discover something
search and destroy mission
an operation developed for United States troops in Vietnam; troops would move through a designated area destroying troops as they found them
direct support
a mission requiring one force to support another specific force and authorizing it to answer directly the supported force's request for assistance
Type of:
military operation, operation
activity by a military or naval force (as a maneuver or campaign)

n a special assignment that is given to a person or group

“a confidential mission to London”
charge, commission
fool's errand
a fruitless mission
mission impossible
an extremely dangerous or difficult mission
martyr operation, sacrifice operation, suicide mission
killing or injuring others while annihilating yourself; usually accomplished with a bomb
Type of:
assignment, duty assignment
a duty that you are assigned to perform (especially in the armed forces)

n a group of representatives or delegates

commission, delegacy, delegation, deputation
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diplomatic mission
a mission serving diplomatic ends
an ambassador and his entourage collectively
High Commission
an embassy of one British Commonwealth country to another
foreign mission, legation
a permanent diplomatic mission headed by a minister
Type of:
organisation, organization
a group of people who work together

n an organization of missionaries in a foreign land sent to carry on religious work

foreign mission, missionary post, missionary station
Type of:
NGO, nongovernmental organization
an organization that is not part of the local or state or federal government

n the organized work of a religious missionary

missionary work
da'wah, dawah
missionary work for Islam
Type of:
activity directed toward making or doing something

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