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verb com·mand \kə-ˈmand\

Simple Definition of command

  • : to give (someone) an order : to tell (someone) to do something in a forceful and often official way

  • : to have authority and control over (a group of people, such as soldiers)

  • : to deserve or be able to get or receive (something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of command

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to direct authoritatively :  order

  3. 2 :  to exercise a dominating influence over :  have command of: as a :  to have at one's immediate disposal <commands many resources> b :  to demand or receive as one's due <commands a high fee> c :  to overlook or dominate from or as if from a strategic position <a hill that commands the city> d :  to have military command of as senior officer <command a regiment>

  4. 3 obsolete :  to order or request to be given

  5. intransitive verb
  6. 1 :  to have or exercise direct authority :  govern

  7. 2 :  to give orders

  8. 3 :  to be commander

  9. 4 :  to dominate as if from an elevated place


play \-ˈman-də-bəl\ adjective

Examples of command in a sentence

  1. She commanded us to leave.

  2. Military leaders commanded the troops to open fire.

  3. She commanded that work on the bridge cease immediately.

  4. We had no choice but to do as they commanded.

  5. He commands a platoon of 60.

  6. With his skills and experience, he can command a high salary.

  7. The company commands much power and influence in the business world.

Origin and Etymology of command

Middle English comanden, from Anglo-French cumander, from Vulgar Latin *commandare, alteration of Latin commendare to commit to one's charge — more at commend

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of command

command, order, bid, enjoin, direct, instruct, charge mean to issue orders. command and order imply authority and usually some degree of formality and impersonality. command stresses official exercise of authority <a general commanding troops>. order may suggest peremptory or arbitrary exercise <ordered his employees about like slaves>. bid suggests giving orders peremptorily (as to children or servants) <she bade him be seated>. enjoin implies giving an order or direction authoritatively and urgently and often with admonition or solicitude <a sign enjoining patrons to be quiet>. direct and instruct both connote expectation of obedience and usually concern specific points of procedure or method, instruct sometimes implying greater explicitness or formality <directed her assistant to hold all calls> <the judge instructed the jury to ignore the remark>. charge adds to enjoin an implication of imposing as a duty or responsibility <charged by the President with a secret mission>.



noun com·mand

Simple Definition of command

  • : an order given to a person or animal to do something

  • : an instruction in the form of a code or signal that tells a computer to do something

  • : the power that someone (such as a military officer) has to give orders and to control a group of people

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of command

  1. 1 a :  an order given b :  a signal that actuates a device (as a control mechanism in a spacecraft or one step in a computer); also :  the activation of a device by means of such a signal

  2. 2 a :  the ability to control :  mastery b :  the authority or right to command <the officer in command> c (1) :  the power to dominate (2) :  scope of vision d :  facility in use <a good command of French> e :  control 1d <a pitcher with good command of his curveball>

  3. 3 :  the act of commanding

  4. 4 :  the personnel, area, or organization under a commander; specifically :  a unit of the United States Air Force higher than an air force

  5. 5 :  a position of highest usually military authority

Examples of command in a sentence

  1. We are expected to obey his commands.

  2. She shouted out commands to the crew.

  3. We started to teach the dog simple commands like sit and lie down.

  4. You can perform several actions with keyboard commands.

  5. The system recognizes voice commands.

  6. He was relieved of his command after being charged with misconduct.

  7. Who is the officer in command of the unit?

  8. I assumed command of the business after my father's death.

  9. He immediately took command of the situation.

  10. He finally felt in command of his life.

15th Century

First Known Use of command

15th century

Synonym Discussion of command

power, authority, jurisdiction, control, command, sway, dominion mean the right to govern or rule or determine. power implies possession of ability to wield force, authority, or influence <the power to mold public opinion>. authority implies power for a specific purpose within specified limits <granted the authority to manage her estate>. jurisdiction applies to official power exercised within prescribed limits <the bureau having jurisdiction over parks>. control stresses the power to direct and restrain <you are responsible for the students under your control>. command implies the power to make arbitrary decisions and compel obedience <the army officer in command>. sway suggests the extent of exercised power or influence <the empire extended its sway over the region>. dominion stresses sovereign power or supreme authority <given dominion over all the animals>.

power, force, energy, strength, might mean the ability to exert effort. power may imply latent or exerted physical, mental, or spiritual ability to act or be acted upon <the awesome power of flowing water>. force implies the actual effective exercise of power <used enough force to push the door open>. energy applies to power expended or capable of being transformed into work <a worker with boundless energy>. strength applies to the quality or property of a person or thing that makes possible the exertion of force or the withstanding of strain, pressure, or attack <use weight training to build your strength>. might implies great or overwhelming power or strength <the belief that might makes right>.



adjective com·mand

Definition of command

  1. :  done on command or request <a command performance>


First Known Use of command


COMMAND Defined for Kids



verb com·mand \kə-ˈmand\

Definition of command for Students



  1. 1 :  to order with authority <The king commanded them to leave.>

  2. 2 :  to have power or control over :  be commander of <He commands an army.>

  3. 3 :  to demand as right or due :  exact <A piano teacher commands a high fee.>

  4. 4 :  to survey from a good position <The fort is on a hill that commands a view of the city.>

Word Root of command

The Latin word mandāre, meaning “to commit” or “to order,” gives us the root mand. Words from the Latin mandāre have something to do with committing or ordering. When a task is mandatory, someone has ordered that it must be done. To command is to order someone to do something. A mandate is an order from an authority to follow specific instructions.



noun com·mand

Definition of command for Students

  1. 1 :  an order given <Obey her command.>

  2. 2 :  the authority, right, or power to command :  control <The troops are under my command.>

  3. 3 :  the ability to control and use :  mastery <She has a good command of the language.>

  4. 4 :  the people, area, or unit (as of soldiers and weapons) under a commander

  5. 5 :  a position from which military operations are directed

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