Simple Definition of countermand
: to cancel (an order) especially by giving a new order
Full Definition of countermand
1 : to revoke (a command) by a contrary order
2 : to recall or order back by a superseding contrary order <countermand reinforcements>
Examples of countermand in a sentence
Orders to blow up the bridge were countermanded.
Did You Know?
In the military, one's mandate is to follow the commands (and sometimes the "countermands") of the officers. Doing their bidding is not particularly commendable - it's simply mandatory. The Latin verb mandare, meaning "to entrust" or "to order," is the authority behind "countermand." It's also behind the words "mandate," "command," "demand," "commend" (which can mean "to entrust" as well as "to praise"), and "mandatory." "Countermand" came to English via Anglo French, where the prefix cuntre- ("against") was combined with the verb "mander" ("to command"). It has been a part of our language since the 1400s.
Origin and Etymology of countermand
Middle English countermaunden, from Anglo-French cuntremander, from cuntre- counter- + mander to command, from Latin mandare — more at mandate
First Known Use: 15th century
Definition of countermand
1 : a contrary order
2 : the revocation of an order or command
First Known Use of countermand
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up countermand? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).