The word entered into English in 1562 from the Turkish vezir ("counselor"), derived from the Arabic wazir ("viceroy"). Wazir itself has two possible etymologies:
In modern Turkey, there is no usage of 'vezir' for any ministry as suggested in the description above.
The Muslim office of vizier, which spread from the Persians, Turks, Arabs and Mongols and neighboring peoples (regardless of the style of the ruler), arose under the first Abbasid caliphs. The vizier stood between sovereign and subjects, representing the former in all matters touching the latter.
The term has been used in two very different ways: either for a unique position, the prime minister at the head of the monarch's government (the term Grand Vizier always refers to such a post), or as a shared 'cabinet rank', rather like a British secretary of state. If one such vizier is the prime minister, he may hold the title of Grand Vizier or another title.