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In constitutional usage in Commonwealth realms and in some other systems, a ministry (usually preceded by the definite article, i.e., the ministry) is a collective body of governmentministers headed by a prime minister or premier, and also referred to as the head of government. It is described by the Oxford Dictionary as "a period of government under one prime minister". Although the term "cabinet" can in some circumstances be a synonym, a ministry can be a broader concept which might include office-holders who do not participate in cabinet meetings. Other titles can include "administration" (in the United States) or "government" (in common usage among most parliamentary systems) to describe similar collectives.
Despite the use of the term "ministry" in this sense being rare in Portugal nowadays, until the first half of the 20th century, the term was frequently used in this country to designate the collective body of government ministers. From 1911 to 1933, the official title of the Prime Minister of Portugal was even that of "President of the Ministry" (Portuguese: Presidente do Ministério), reflecting his role as the head of the collective ministry.
^ The dictionary definition of ministry at Wiktionary: "The complete body of government ministers (whether or not they are in cabinet) under the leadership of a head of government (such as a prime minister)"