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Wordnet 3.0

VERB (4)

1. order by virtue of superior authority; decree;
- Example: "The King ordained the persecution and expulsion of the Jews"
- Example: "the legislature enacted this law in 1985"
[syn: ordain, enact]

2. appoint to a clerical posts;
- Example: "he was ordained in the Church"
[syn: ordain, consecrate, ordinate, order]

3. invest with ministerial or priestly authority;
- Example: "The minister was ordained only last month"

4. issue an order;


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Ordain \Or*dain"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Ordained; p. pr. & vb. n. Ordaining.] [OE. ordeinen, OF. ordener, F. ordonner, fr. L. ordinare, from ordo, ordinis, order. See Order, and cf. Ordinance.] 1. To set in order; to arrange according to rule; to regulate; to set; to establish. "Battle well ordained." --Spenser. [1913 Webster] The stake that shall be ordained on either side. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 2. To regulate, or establish, by appointment, decree, or law; to constitute; to decree; to appoint; to institute. [1913 Webster] Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month. --1 Kings xii. 32. [1913 Webster] And doth the power that man adores ordain Their doom ? --Byron. [1913 Webster] 3. To set apart for an office; to appoint. [1913 Webster] Being ordained his special governor. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 4. (Eccl.) To invest with ministerial or sacerdotal functions; to introduce into the office of the Christian ministry, by the laying on of hands, or other forms; to set apart by the ceremony of ordination. [1913 Webster] Meletius was ordained by Arian bishops. --Bp. Stillingfleet. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

ordain v 1: order by virtue of superior authority; decree; "The King ordained the persecution and expulsion of the Jews"; "the legislature enacted this law in 1985" [syn: ordain, enact] 2: appoint to a clerical posts; "he was ordained in the Church" [syn: ordain, consecrate, ordinate, order] 3: invest with ministerial or priestly authority; "The minister was ordained only last month" 4: issue an order
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

116 Moby Thesaurus words for "ordain": allocate, allot, appoint, appropriate to, assign, assign to, authorize, bid, call on, call the signals, call upon, canonize, carry on, charge, command, commission, consecrate, constitute, declare, declare lawful, decree, designate, destinate, destine, detail, devote, dictate, direct, doom, earmark, enact, enact laws, enjoin, enlist, enroll, establish, fate, filibuster, foredoom, formulate, frock, get the floor, give an order, give the word, have the floor, impose, inaugurate, induct, initiate, install, instate, instruct, invest, issue a command, issue a writ, keep, kill, lay down, legalize, legislate, legitimate, legitimatize, legitimize, lobby through, logroll, lot, make a regulation, make assignments, make legal, manage, mandate, mark, mark off, mark out for, name, nominate, operate, order, order about, ordinate, pass, pigeonhole, pocket, portion off, prescribe, proclaim, promulgate, pronounce, put in force, put through, railroad through, regulate, reserve, restrict, restrict to, roll logs, rule, run, saint, sanction, say the word, schedule, select, set, set apart, set aside, set off, sign on, sign up, tab, table, tag, take the floor, validate, veto, yield the floor
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

ORDAIN. To ordain is to make an ordinance, to enact a law. 2. In the constitution of the United States, the preamble. declares that the people "do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America." The 3d article of the same constitution declares, that "the judicial power shall be vested in one supreme court, and in such inferior courts as the congress may from time to time ordain and establish. "See 1 Wheat. R. 304, 324; 4 Wheat: R. 316, 402.