command

verb
com·​mand | \ kə-ˈmand How to pronounce command (audio) \
commanded; commanding; commands

Definition of command

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to direct authoritatively : order commanded adherence to the rules
2 : to exercise a dominating influence over : have command of: such 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
3 obsolete : to order or request to be given

intransitive verb

1 : to have or exercise direct authority : govern The king knows how to command well.
2 : to give orders The master commands, and the servants obey.
3 : to be commander The general will command at the western front.
4 : to dominate as if from an elevated place

command

noun

Definition of command (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : an order given The command was to hold fire.
b(1) : a signal that actuates a device (such as a control mechanism in a spacecraft or one step in a computer)
(2) : the activation of a device by means of such a signal
(3) : a line of code (see code entry 1 sense 5) instructing a computer to send such a signal
2a : the ability to control : mastery She was in command of her emotions.
b : the authority or right to command the officer in command
c(1) : the power to dominate The fort has command of the valley.
(2) : scope of vision The tower provides a wide command of the neighboring hills.
d : facility in use a good command of French
e : control sense 1d a pitcher with good command of his curveball
3 : the act of commanding The troops will charge at command.
4 : the personnel, area, or organization under a commander specifically : a unit of the U.S. Air Force higher than an air force
5 : a position of highest usually military authority He was relieved of his command after being charged with misconduct.
on command
: when an order is given : in response to a command a dog trained to attack on command

command

adjective

Definition of command (Entry 3 of 3)

: done on command or request a command performance

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Other Words from command

Verb

commandable \ kə-​ˈman-​də-​bəl How to pronounce commandable (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for command

Verb

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

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

Examples of command in a Sentence

Verb

She commanded us to leave. Military leaders commanded the troops to open fire. She commanded that work on the bridge cease immediately. We had no choice but to do as they commanded. He commands a platoon of 60. With his skills and experience, he can command a high salary. The company commands much power and influence in the business world.

Noun

We are expected to obey his commands. She shouted out commands to the crew. We started to teach the dog simple commands like “sit” and “lie down.” You can perform several actions with keyboard commands. The system recognizes voice commands. He was relieved of his command after being charged with misconduct. Who is the officer in command of the unit? I assumed command of the business after my father's death. He immediately took command of the situation. He finally felt in command of his life.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Whether making their performance debut at a major award show or dazzling fans during their North American tour, BTS definitely knows how to command the stage. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "BTS Performed in Hong Kong and the ARMY Cannot Handle How Cute They Were," 22 Mar. 2019 She's already commanded her first solo magazine cover, and made her modeling debut at the L.O.L Surprise! Fashion Show. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "North West Is Adding YouTuber to Her Resume & I Just Really Need a Nap," 24 Mar. 2019 Simply command the screen to roll up or down with your voice, thanks to LG ThinQ, which has Google Assistant and Alexa built-in for your convenience. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "This LG TV’s Display Actually Rolls Into Its Base When You Tell It To Do So," 6 Mar. 2019 Last year Huawei commanded about 30% of the global telecom-equipment market, far ahead of Finland’s Nokia Corp. and Sweden’s Ericsson AB, according to research-firm Dell’Oro Group. Newley Purnell, WSJ, "U.S. Campaign Against Huawei Runs Aground in an Exploding Tech Market," 21 Feb. 2019 Boasting some 200,000 troops and 1.7 million militiamen, Venezuela’s armed forces command not just the nation’s firepower but many key sectors of the economy as well, making their backing critical. Fabiola Sanchez, The Seattle Times, "AP Explains: Venezuela opposition’s fight to win over troops," 20 Feb. 2019 As the wife of the future king, her visits may command the attention of the world, but her manner is reserved and those who meet her are often surprised by how low-key the encounter feels. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton's Experiences as a Mother Have Profoundly Shaped Her Focus for 2019," 23 Jan. 2019 Researchers in Japan, however, have figured out how to command a canine's attention and even direct its movements from a remote vantage point, using a light-emitting vest. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Made a Remote-Control Dog with a Vest and Some Lights (and a Dog)," 5 Nov. 2018 Andreas Norlen, a member of the center-right Moderates who was elected Monday as speaker, is charged with trying to find someone in parliament who may be able to command a majority and to form a government. David Keyton, Fox News, "Sweden's center-left PM loses confidence vote," 25 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

American captain John Paul Jones arrived in France to take command. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Shipwreck of One of America’s First Warships Was Just Found," 12 Dec. 2018 Players take command of cargo ships, sailing between islands, establishing trading posts, and competing to export the most lucrative collections of spices. Owen Duffy, Ars Technica, "Century: Eastern Wonders makes cardboard spice trading fun again," 6 Oct. 2018 In 1775, General George Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Mass. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 3 July 2018 The doll-like device can manage simple hello-how-are-you type conversations and adjust room heating and lighting in response to voice commands. Takashi Mochizuki, WSJ, "Robot Hotel Loses Love for Robots," 14 Jan. 2019 People are doing plenty of things with voice commands on their smart speakers, but shopping isn’t really one of them. Rani Molla, Recode, "Amazon wants brands to advertise Alexa voice shopping — essentially for free," 26 Nov. 2018 Like Ori’s original Studio Suite, the Cloud Bed and Pocket closet run on tracks and are controlled through buttons, apps, and voice commands. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Ori’s new robotic furniture includes a bed that drops from the ceiling," 14 Nov. 2018 Buchholz said the group is working now to integrate the two to control the robot with voice commands. Mark Davis, kansascity, "Fire, hammers and robots: Maker Faire Kansas City takes over Union Station," 23 June 2018 Their minds are impervious to Maeve's (Thandie Newton) takeover attempts and Ashley Stubbs' (Luke Hemsworth) voice commands. Sandra Upson, WIRED, "Westworld Recap, Season 2 Episode 9: The Many Lives of the Man in Black," 18 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'command.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of command

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1826, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for command

Verb

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

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Statistics for command

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for command

The first known use of command was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for command

command

verb

English Language Learners Definition of command

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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)

command

noun

English Language Learners Definition of command (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

command

verb
com·​mand | \ kə-ˈmand How to pronounce command (audio) \
commanded; commanding

Kids Definition of command

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to order with authority The king commanded them to leave.
2 : to have power or control over : be commander of He commands an army.
3 : to demand as right or due : exact A piano teacher commands a high fee.
4 : to survey from a good position The fort is on a hill that commands a view of the city.

command

noun

Kids Definition of command (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an order given Obey her command.
2 : the authority, right, or power to command : control The troops are under my command.
3 : the ability to control and use : mastery She has a good command of the language.
4 : the people, area, or unit (as of soldiers and weapons) under a commander
5 : a position from which military operations are directed

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More from Merriam-Webster on command

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with command

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for command

Spanish Central: Translation of command

Nglish: Translation of command for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of command for Arabic Speakers

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