administrate

administer, administrate
For many centuries, the normal word corresponding to administration and meaning ‘to manage (affairs)’ has been administer

• (The Rezzoris were minor Austrian gentry administering the outposts of empire —London Review of Books, 1990).

In recent years, however, the longer form administrate (first recorded in the 17c) has increasingly been used as a kind of newly invented back-formation, and is now awkwardly challenging administer in its traditional meanings:

• The machinery of such aid is still primed by administrators eager to go out and administrate —Times, 1981

They [speed cameras] are very expensive to install, maintain, administrate and police —Yorkshire Post, 2006.

Administer is, on the other hand, routinely used to mean ‘to give (medicine) to a patient’

• (I was brimming with alcohol —administered to loosen my tongue —A. Price, 1982)

and is also being increasingly used in two other meanings:
1. to inflict (punishment, blows, etc.) on someone

• (Two others held her feet while the headmaster administered the cane —B. Emecheta, 1974).

2. in medical contexts administer is used instead of minister to (an injured person, etc.):

• The fact that Ranjit is still alive today is a tribute to the ambulance attendants who administered to him at the scene —Oxford Times, 1977

• American doctors, being vastly rich, have better things to do with their leisure time than administer to patients at weekends —Times, 1994.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • administrate — ad·min·is·trate /əd mi nə ˌstrāt/ vb trat·ed, trat·ing: administer Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. administrate …   Law dictionary

  • administrate — ad‧min‧i‧strate [ədˈmɪnstreɪt] verb [transitive] another word for administer1: • The system controls personnel records and administrates the payroll. * * * administrate UK US /ədˈmɪnɪstreɪt/ verb [T] ► ADMINISTER(Cf …   Financial and business terms

  • Administrate — Ad*min is*trate, v. t. [L. administratus, p. p. of administrare.] To administer. [R.] Milman. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • administrate — (v.) 1630s, from L. administratus, pp. of administrare (see ADMINISTER (Cf. administer)). In modern use a back formation from administration. Related: Administrated; administrating …   Etymology dictionary

  • administrate — ► VERB ▪ administer; carry out administration. DERIVATIVES administrative adjective administrator noun …   English terms dictionary

  • administrate — [ad min′is trāt΄, ədmin′is trāt΄] vt. administrated, administrating to manage or direct; administer …   English World dictionary

  • administrate — verb a) to administer Example: The job is to administrate the network. b) the act or function of providing maintenance and general housekeeping for computer systems, networks, peripheral equipment, etc …   Wiktionary

  • administrate — verb ( trated; trating) Etymology: Latin administratus, past participle of administrare Date: 1550 administer …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • administrate — /ad min euh strayt /, v.t., administrated, administrating. to administer. [1630 40; < L administratus, ptp. of administrare to ADMINISTER; see ATE1] * * * …   Universalium

  • administrate — (Roget s Thesaurus II) verb 1. To have charge of (the affairs of others): administer, direct, govern, head, manage, run, superintend, supervise. See OVER. 2. To oversee the provision or execution of: administer, carry out, dispense, execute. See… …   English dictionary for students

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