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

Skinner, who had a relatively modest $5.75 million cap hit the past six seasons, will command a long-term salary of $8 million or more, and the Avs are in the position to pay. Mike Chambers, The Denver Post, "Why the Colorado Avalanche and Jeff Skinner are a great fit in free agency," 3 June 2019 With its plunging neckline and leg-revealing slit, the asymmetrical silver gown commanded attention, but Graham and her stylist Jordan Foster went for a more subtle sort of sultry rather than provocative. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Ashley Graham Just Had a Major ’90s Supermodel Moment," 28 Mar. 2019 But after years of being brushed aside by investors, the differences between the four firms are now commanding greater attention. The Economist, "Big tech is growing, but so is investors’ caution," 26 Apr. 2018 Gary Patterson might command the top salary of any employee at TCU, but head baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle is one of the highest paid college baseball coaches in the country. Peter Dawson, star-telegram, "Schlossnagle one of the highest-paid coaches in college baseball, tax documents show | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 25 Apr. 2018 Most figure newcomer Slauson will command one of the guard spots, but as the past has taught us, there are no guarantees with this group. Zak Keefer, Indianapolis Star, "Colts draft: A closer look at where the roster is," 22 Apr. 2018 Ivan Duque, a law-and-order disciple of a powerful former president, won Sunday's vote with a commanding 12-point lead over rival Gustavo Petro, a former rebel and ex-Bogota mayor. Joshua Goodman And Christine Armario, Fox News, "Doubts looms over Colombia peace deal with hawk's election," 18 June 2018 Thompson said that the officers approached Rabi and commanded him not to touch his gun. Nathan J. Fish, azcentral, "Family mourns death of man shot and killed near Metrocenter by Phoenix police," 30 May 2018 The officers commanded him again to drop the weapon in English and Spanish before Officer Michael Mellone shot him with bean bag rounds, officials said. Sarah Ravani, San Francisco Chronicle, "The 5 San Francisco police shootings that put the city in the spotlight," 24 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Sherald paints black people in regal poses and uses vintage fashion as costumes, in Sherald’s words, that command respect. Elizabeth Wellington, https://www.inquirer.com, "Amy Sherald, who painted Michelle Obama’s portrait, designs a mural that turns a Philly teen into her own inspiration | Elizabeth Wellington," 5 June 2019 The copilot, Earl Carper of Chicago, flew the ship guided by a full colonel command pilot who was flying as an observer. Ann Zaniewski, Detroit Free Press, "What the Free Press front page looked like as D-Day unfolded," 5 June 2019 The woman now confirmed to be Sunde ran onto I-94, ignoring officers' commands to stop. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A woman live streamed Tuesday's I-94 standoff from inside the stolen minivan," 5 June 2019 My aim was in no way to endorse the president, his policies, or his party, but to obey God’s command to pray for our president and other leaders to govern in the way this passage portrays. al.com, "Pastor David Platt explains why he prayed for Trump," 4 June 2019 Cell blocks in the infirmary command have eight cells and a day room with a television on each tier, the official said. William K. Rashbaum, New York Times, "Paul Manafort to Be Sent to Rikers, Where He Will Be Held in Isolation," 4 June 2019 Voice Control increases accessibility on Mac by allowing users to speak commands to control gestures, apps, and other programs in macOS. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Apple shares its vision for macOS 10.15 Catalina: Cross-platform apps are key," 3 June 2019 On Sunday night, the U.S. military command that oversees the Mideast confirmed an explosion outside the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad and said there were no U.S. or coalition casualties. Fay Abuelgasim, The Seattle Times, "Saudis say they will defend themselves, as Trump warns Iran," 20 May 2019 Don't Position Your Bed in Line with the Door Feng shui's command position calls for a bed to be diagonal from the door. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "12 Feng Shui Tips to Create the Bedroom of Your Dreams," 17 May 2019

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

7 Jun 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

Comments on command

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