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

And then there was her commanding pièce de résistance—that towering and tightly-coiled lavender pouf. Vogue, "Camp Beauty: Dara, Paloma Elsesser, and More Go Maximalist for the Annual Pre-Met Party," 6 May 2019 From the Fourviere terrace, there’s a commanding view of Lyon’s old town, with its Renaissance roofs sporting uniform chimneys, and the Presqu’ile’s elegant 19th-century architecture. Rick Steves' Europe, The Seattle Times, "Loving Lyon: France’s culinary capital is off the tourist path," 20 Feb. 2019 Other amenities of the 2,092 house include a commanding brick fireplace in the living room, a large back deck, and a .5-acre lot filled with greenery and large trees. Megan Barber, Curbed, "A-frame midcentury home with gorgeous atrium asks $700K," 14 Dec. 2018 As the 9th Circuit made clear in The Company v. US, the government must minimize interference with the service that is being provided to the subject of the investigation when commanding assistance of a third party under 18 USC § 2518(4). Greg Nojeim, Eric Wenger, Ars Technica, "FBI vs. Facebook Messenger: What’s at stake?," 2 Oct. 2018 The commanding general says anyone remaining on base will have food, water and protection despite being in the projected path of the storm. Fox News, "WHAT'S HAPPENING: Hurricane Florence looms over East Coast," 13 Sep. 2018 In the African wing, a show of just four commanding wooden crowns constitutes a blockbuster in its own right. New York Times, "23 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 12 July 2018 More recently, the movement has been excited about a recent survey from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communications, which shows that a GND commands majority support even from Republicans. David Roberts, Vox, "The Green New Deal, explained," 21 Dec. 2018 Didn't Hidden Figures and Black Panther demonstrate that black casts could command millions at the box office? Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Geena Davis Knows Women Are Good for Hollywood's Bottom Line. So What Gives?," 19 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Fenet certainly knows the importance of atmosphere in her command of a room. Mai Morsch, Vogue, "Christie’s Auctioneer Lydia Fenet Hosts a Winning Dinner to Celebrate Her First Book," 10 Apr. 2019 For heavy Alexa users, going through all of these commands to find egregious conversations to delete might be too much work. Natt Garun, The Verge, "How to hear (and delete) every conversation your Amazon Alexa has recorded," 28 Feb. 2019 Microsoft also tweaked some of the keyboard commands, and made changes to how the app behaves. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Hints of Windows 10's 2019 future show up in early '19H1' builds," 6 Nov. 2018 The software streamlines what technicians need to do, which previously involved typing in an arcane set of text commands for each networking device to configure and make changes to a network. New York Times, "Cisco Chief Executive’s New Mantra: Simplify Computer Networks," 10 July 2018 His command of English is so weak and so corrupted by insult (loser, joke, sick, animal, ugly, rapists) that there are no words vulgar enough to describe it. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "What’s So Bad About the C-Word?," 5 June 2018 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

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

10 May 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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