1

command

play
verb com·mand \ kə-ˈmand \

Definition of command

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

commandable

play \kə-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.

Recent Examples of command from the Web

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.

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

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

2

command

noun

Definition of command

1 a :an order given
  • The command was to hold fire.
  • a dog trained to attack on command [=in response to a command]
b :a signal that actuates a device (such 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 a :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 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.

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.

Recent Examples of command from the Web

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.

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

3

command

adjective

Definition of command

:done on command or request
  • a command performance

First Known Use of command

1826



COMMAND Defined for English Language Learners

command

play
verb

Definition of command for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of command for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

command

play
verb com·mand \ kə-ˈmand \

Definition of command for Students

commanded; commanding
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.

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.


2

command

noun

Definition of command for Students

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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