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(as) black as the minister's coat

dated Completely black; totally without light or color. The basement gives me the creeps, it's as black as the minister's coat down there!
See also: black, coat

minister to someone or something

to take care of someone or someone's needs. Sarah tried to minister to the people of the village. He sought to minister to the grief of the widow.
See also: minister
References in classic literature ?
A failure would have been in better taste; it would have shown at least some imagination, some anxiety on one's account I did not reflect that even Raffles could scarcely be expected to picture me in my cups with the son of the house that I had come to rob; chatting with him, ministering to him; admiring his cheery courage, and honestly attempting to lighten his load
There he was--the man of the canny eye, the fatherly manner, and the mighty nose--Bishopriggs--preserved in spirits and ministering at the festival at Swanhaven Lodge!
He feels her superiority through every pore; he never before realised how absolutely inferior he is; he is abjectly polite, and contemptibly conciliatory; if a friend comes to see him, he eagerly praises her in case she should be listening behind the screen; he cannot call his soul his own, and, what is far more intolerable, neither is he sure that his body really belongs to him; he has read of ministering angels and the light touch of a woman's hand, but the day on which he can ring for his servant and put on his socks in private fills him with the same sort of wildness of joy that he felt as a homesick schoolboy at the end of his first term.
Respecting me, however, she had long since seen her error, and perhaps fallen into another in the opposite extreme: for if, at first, her opinion of me had been lower than I deserved, I was convinced that now my deserts were lower than her opinion; and if the former part of this continuation had been torn away to avoid wounding my feelings, perhaps the latter portion had been removed for fear of ministering too much to my self-conceit.
My life, and the lives of my two children," she went on, "is devoted to the task of ministering to his happiness.
But their souls must be seen by only one man, and they obey not unwillingly, and consent to remain at home as our slaves-- ministering to us and doing drudgery for us.
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