command

verb
com·​mand | \ kə-ˈmand \
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 \ 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

The Gemini 8 mission, commanded by Armstrong with David Scott as pilot, sought to rendezvous with an Agena target vehicle in low-Earth orbit. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "First Man is a first-rate movie about America’s most revered astronaut," 12 Oct. 2018 The deliberate obfuscation is part of the left’s tactic to persuade voters that health care is so complicated that resources must be commanded by government (single payer). The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Wisconsin ObamaCare Howlers," 29 Aug. 2018 Ever eager to command the spotlight, even at 3 a.m. ET, Trump strode out to the blue-and-white liveried government jet that carried the men home and was picked out of the night sky with floodlights and parked in front of a huge American flag. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "History in the making as Trump welcomes prisoners home," 10 May 2018 The Bonhomme Richard, commanded at the time by Captain John Paul Jones, was sunk during a duel with two Royal Navy warships during the Revolutionary War. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Shipwreck of One of America’s First Warships Was Just Found," 12 Dec. 2018 Craft beer has grown by double-digit percentages over the past several years, and now commands more than 22% of all beer sales. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "With a superbarket, shopping isn’t a chore; it’s an experience.," 30 Nov. 2018 At an average ticket price of $511, the show has commanded the highest average price in Broadway history, according to Forbes. Timothy Bella, The Seattle Times, "Bruce Springsteen: Trump is ‘deeply damaged at his core’," 28 Nov. 2018 Ninja now commands an audience of 11 million followers on Twitch, 11 million followers on Instagram, more than 3.5 million Twitter followers, and nearly 20 million YouTube subscribers. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Fortnite star Ninja is getting his own 12-hour New Years Eve broadcast in Times Square," 26 Oct. 2018 Krasowski again commanded the back row for Sandburg in 2017, adding 410 digs. Tony Baranek, Daily Southtown, "The blue-and-gold standard: Volleyball standout Rachel Krasowski looking for junior achievement at Sandburg," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Phillip’s counterpart, a wealthy, aristocratic intellectual named Philippe, was played by François Cluzet, a quick-witted actor with a command of subtle comedy. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘The Upside’ Review: Uplift on Demand," 10 Jan. 2019 Some of the many benefits of these smart bulbs include setting lights to your schedule or changing them with a vocal command. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "General Electric Is Making Voice-Controlled "Smart" Light Bulbs," 9 Jan. 2019 The Trump administration, however, wants to take those personnel and create a complete new combatant command separate from USSTRATCOMM. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Space Command is coming back, but Space Force still needs approval from Congress," 18 Dec. 2018 The approach was to avoid giving specific responses to any direct questions on legal issues likely to come before the court, but demonstrating in the response a firm command of the subject area and awareness of the relevant precedents and arguments. New York Times, "Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court Pick: Frequently Asked Questions on the Person and the Process," 9 July 2018 The two communicate in halting English, though Axel has a better command; now Katya wants to learn Spanish. Amie Ferris-rotman, Washington Post, "At World Cup, Russians embrace the world, one relationship at a time," 9 July 2018 Never mind every lesson of history: The left’s command-and-control program to remake global energy is not politically realistic; anything enacted would quickly devolve into corrupt rent-seeking (see Germany). Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Will 2019 See Climate Maturity?," 24 Dec. 2018 Zhu and Zhang's participation included registering domains and accounts used by the APT10 Group to stage command-and-control infrastructure and to use in attacks on the MSPs that began in 2014. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "US and allies: New hacks mean China broke 2015 economic espionage pact," 20 Dec. 2018 The drones would operate autonomously but respond to a pilot’s command. The Economist, "Tomorrow’s squadron leaders will be accompanied by drones," 5 July 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

18 Jan 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 \
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

Comments on command

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