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verb, or·der \ˈȯr-dər\

Definition of order

orderedordering play \ˈȯr-d(ə-)riŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to put in order :  arrange

  3. 2 a :  to give an order to :  command b :  destine, ordain <so ordered by the gods> c :  to command to go or come to a specified place <ordered back to the base> d :  to give an order for <order a meal>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. 1 :  to bring about order :  regulate

  6. 2 a :  to issue orders :  command b :  to give or place an order

orderable play \-ə-bəl\ adjective
orderer play \-dər-ər\ noun

Examples of order in a sentence

  1. They ordered everyone out of the house.

  2. The soldiers were ordered back to the base.

  3. Stop! Drop your weapon! ordered the officer.

  4. The court threw out the conviction and ordered a new trial.

  5. The judge ordered that the charges be dismissed.

  6. He was accused of ordering the murder of his wife.

  7. I ordered the books from the company's Web site.

  8. The shirt you ordered should arrive in the mail in a couple of days.

  9. To order, call the number at the bottom of your screen.

  10. Order now and receive a free gift!

Illustration of order

Origin of order

Middle English, from ordre, noun

First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of order

order, arrange, marshal, organize, systematize, methodize mean to put persons or things into their proper places in relation to each other. order suggests a straightening out so as to eliminate confusion <ordered her business affairs>. arrange implies a setting in sequence, relationship, or adjustment <arranged the files numerically>. marshal suggests gathering and arranging in preparation for a particular operation or effective use <marshaling the facts for argument>. organize implies arranging so that the whole aggregate works as a unit with each element having a proper function <organized the volunteers into teams>. systematize implies arranging according to a predetermined scheme <systematized billing procedures>. methodize suggests imposing an orderly procedure rather than a fixed scheme <methodizes every aspect of daily living>.

synonyms see in addition command

Rhymes with order



noun or·der

Simple Definition of order

  • : a statement made by a person with authority that tells someone to do something : an instruction or direction that must be obeyed

  • : a specific request asking a company to supply goods or products to a customer

  • : a product or a group of products that someone has requested from a company

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of order

  1. 1 a :  a group of people united in a formal way: as (1) :  a fraternal society <the Masonic Order> (2) :  a community under a religious rule; especially :  one requiring members to take solemn vows b :  a badge or medal of such a society; also :  a military decoration

  2. 2 a :  any of the several grades of the Christian ministry b plural :  the office of a person in the Christian ministry c plural :  ordination

  3. 3 a :  a rank, class, or special group in a community or society b :  a class of persons or things grouped according to quality, value, or natural characteristics: as (1) :  a category of taxonomic classification ranking above the family and below the class (2) :  the broadest category in soil classification

  4. 4 a (1) :  rank, level <a statesman of the first order> (2) :  category, class <in emergencies of this order — R. B. Westerfield> b (1) :  the arrangement or sequence of objects or of events in time <listed the items in order of importance> <the batting order> (2) :  a sequential arrangement of mathematical elements c :  degree 12a, b d (1) :  the number of times differentiation is applied successively <derivatives of higher order> (2) of a differential equation :  the order of the derivative of highest order e :  the number of columns or rows or columns and rows in a magic square, determinant, or matrix <the order of a matrix with 2 rows and 3 columns is 2 by 3> f :  the number of elements in a finite mathematical group

  5. 5 a (1) :  a sociopolitical system <was opposed to changes in the established order> (2) :  a particular sphere or aspect of a sociopolitical system <the present economic order> b :  a regular or harmonious arrangement <the order of nature>

  6. 6 a :  a prescribed form of a religious service :  rite b :  the customary mode of procedure especially in debate <point of order>

  7. 7 a :  the state of peace, freedom from confused or unruly behavior, and respect for law or proper authority <promised to restore law and order> b :  a specific rule, regulation, or authoritative direction :  command

  8. 8 a :  a style of building b :  a type of column and entablature forming the unit of a style

  9. 9 a :  state or condition especially with regard to functioning or repair <things were in terrible order> b :  a proper, orderly, or functioning condition <their passports were in order> <the phone is out of order>

  10. 10 a :  a written direction to pay money to someone b :  a commission to purchase, sell, or supply goods or to perform work c :  goods or items bought or sold d :  an assigned or requested undertaking <landing men on the moon was a tall order>

  11. 11 :  order of the day <flat roofs were the order in the small villages>

orderless play \-ləs\ adjective
in order
  1. :  appropriate, desirable <an apology is in order>

in order to
  1. :  for the purpose of

on order
  1. :  in the process of being ordered

on the order of
  1. 1 :  after the fashion of :  like <a genius on the order of Newton — D. B. Botkin>

  2. 2 :  about, approximately <spent on the order of two million dollars>

to order
  1. :  according to the specifications of an order <shoes made to order>

Examples of order in a sentence

  1. That's an order, not a request!

  2. Failing to comply with an order will result in the loss of your job.

  3. She received an order to appear in court.

  4. They can't close down the school without an order from the governor's office.

  5. The mayor gave an order to evacuate the city.

  6. It's not his fault. He was only following orders.

  7. I'm not taking orders from you! You're not my boss.

  8. The city was evacuated by order of the mayor.

  9. The store received an order for 200 roses this morning.

  10. They had trouble filling large customer orders.

Illustration of order

Origin of order

Middle English, from Anglo-French ordre, from Medieval Latin & Latin; Medieval Latin ordin-, ordo ecclesiastical order, from Latin, arrangement, group, class; akin to Latin ordiri to lay the warp, begin

First Known Use: 14th century

ORDER Defined for Kids



verb or·der \ˈȯr-dər\

Definition of order for Students


  1. 1 :  to put into a particular grouping or sequence :  arrange <Dictionary entries are ordered alphabetically.>

  2. 2 :  to give a command to or for <The general ordered troops into battle.> <I went to the counter to order lunch.>



noun or·der

Definition of order for Students

  1. 1 :  a certain rule or regulation :  command <… when he gave orders … everyone knew … that he expected to be obeyed. — Anna Sewell, Black Beauty>

  2. 2 :  the arrangement of objects or events in space or time <List the names in alphabetical order.>

  3. 3 :  the way something should be <He kept the room in order.>

  4. 4 :  the state of things when law or authority is obeyed <Troops restored order after the riot.>

  5. 5 :  good working condition <The telephone is out of order.>

  6. 6 :  a statement of what a person wants to buy <Place your order for a birthday cake.>

  7. 7 :  goods or items bought or sold <an order of pancakes>

  8. 8 :  a group of people united (as by living under the same religious rules or by loyalty to common needs or duties) <He belongs to an order of monks.>

  9. 9 orders plural :  the office of a person in the Christian ministry <holy orders>

  10. 10 :  a group of related living things (as plants or animals) that ranks above the family and below the class in scientific classification <Bats form an order of mammals in the animal kingdom.>

  11. 11 :  a written direction to pay a sum of money

in order that
  1. :  so that

in order to
  1. :  for the purpose of

Medical Dictionary



transitive verb or·der \ˈȯrd-ər\

Medical Definition of order

ordered; ordering \ˈȯrd-(ə-)riŋ\play

  1. :  to give a prescription for :  prescribe <the doctor ordered bed rest>



noun or·der

Medical Definition of order

  1. :  a category of taxonomic classification ranking above the family and below the class

Law Dictionary



noun or·der

Legal Definition of order

  1. 1 :  a state of peace, freedom from unruly behavior, and respect for law and proper authority <maintain law and order>

  2. 2 :  an established mode or state of procedure <a call to order>

  3. 3a :  a mandate from a superior authority — see also executive order b :  a ruling or command made by a competent administrative authority; specifically :  one resulting from administrative adjudication and subject to judicial review and enforcement <an administrative order may not be inconsistent with the Constitution — Wells v. State, 654 So. 2d 145 (1995)> c :  an authoritative command issued by the court <violated a court order and was jailed for contempt> cease–and–desist order \ˌsēs-ənd-di-ˈzist-, -ˈsist-\ :  an order from a court or quasi-judicial tribunal to stop engaging in a particular activity or practice (as an unfair labor practice) — compare injunction, mandamus, stay consent order :  an agreement of litigating parties that by consent takes the form of a court order final order :  an order of a court or quasi-judicial tribunal which leaves nothing further to be determined or accomplished in that forum except execution of the judgment and from which an appeal will lie gag order :  an order barring public disclosure or discussion (as by the involved parties or the press) of information relating to a case order to show cause :  an order requiring the prospective object of a legal action to show cause why that action should not take place —called also show cause order pretrial order :  a court order setting out the rulings, stipulations, and other actions taken at a pretrial conference protection order :  restraining order 2 in this entry protective order :  an order issued for the protection of a particular party: as a :  an order that limits, denies, or defers discovery by a party in order to prevent undue embarrassment, expense, oppression, or disclosure of trade secrets b :  restraining order 2 in this entry qualified domestic relations order :  an order, decree, or judgment that satisfies the criteria set out in section 414 of the Internal Revenue Code for the payment of all or part of individual pension, profit sharing, or retirement benefits usually to a divorcing spouse (as for alimony or child support) Editor's note: The alienation or assignment of funds under a qualified domestic relations order does not affect the tax status of the plan from which such funds are paid. restraining order \ri-ˈstrā-niŋ-\ 1 :  temporary restraining order 1 in this entry 2 :  an order of a specified duration issued after a hearing attended by all parties that is intended to protect one individual from violence, abuse, harassment, or stalking by another especially by prohibiting or restricting access or proximity to the protected party <excluded from the home by a restraining order issued because of domestic violence> —called also protection order, protective order — compare temporary restraining order 2 in this entry show cause order :  order to show cause in this entry temporary restraining order 1 :  an order of brief duration that is issued ex parte to protect the plaintiff's rights from immediate and irreparable injury by preserving a situation or preventing an act until a hearing for a preliminary injunction can be held 2 :  a protective order issued ex parte for a brief period prior to a hearing on a restraining order attended by both parties and intended to provide immediate protection from violence or threatened violence turnover order \ˈtər-ˌnō-vər-\ :  an order commanding one party to turn over property to another; especially :  an order commanding a judgment debtor to turn over assets to a judgment creditor <turnover order in aid of execution — California Code of Civil Procedure> d :  a command issued by a military superior

  4. 4a :  a direction regarding the party to whom a negotiable instrument shall be paid <pay to the order of John Doe> — see also money order, negotiable instrument b :  an instruction or authorization especially to buy or sell goods or securities or to perform work <a purchase order> <a work order> alternative order :  an order to a broker in which alternative methods of carrying out the order (as by buying or selling) are set forth open order 1 :  an order to buy securities or commodity futures that remains effective until filled or canceled 2 :  an order for merchandise expressed in very general terms so that the seller has considerable latitude in selecting the articles actually provided stop order :  an order to a broker to buy or sell a security when the price advances or declines to a designated level c :  goods or items bought or sold <the order was received in good condition>

to order
  1. :  according to the specifications of an order especially of a bearer or endorsee <payable to bearer or to order>



adjective or·der

Legal Definition of order

  1. :  payable to a named person or to an individual that person names by an endorsement <order instrument> — compare bearer

Seen and Heard

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a timid, meek, or unassertive person

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