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

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 The mayor does not have veto powers or the authority to command city employees. David Hernandez, sandiegouniontribune.com, "National City voters deny mayor chance to seek re-election, results show," 7 June 2018 It was commanded by Captain James T. Kirk at the end of the movie Star Trek IV, after the events of Star Trek III resulted in the destruction of the original NCC-1701. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "A U-2 Spy Plane is Flying Over Northern California Pretending to Be the Starship Enterprise," 30 Jan. 2019 In a sneak peak for the new episode of Blue Bloods, Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) decides he's had enough of listening to Jamie Reagan's (Will Estes) commands—but disobeying orders might put people in danger. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'Blue Bloods' Hints at Fight That Could Tear Brothers Danny and Jamie Reagan Apart," 1 Feb. 2019 In the distance looms the Gothic cupola of the parliament, a fairy-tale concoction trumpeting the pride of a nation that once commanded more than four times its current size. András Szántó, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Budapest Is Europe's Unlikely Capital of Hedonism," 29 Aug. 2018 Newcombe, a former quarterback, receiver and kick returner at Nebraska, who was heavily influenced in life by former Cornhuskers coach Tom Osborne, commands the room. Richard Obert, azcentral, "10 new Arizona high school football coaches who could make an immediate impact," 10 July 2018 Because the furniture doesn't command the space, Hollywood Regency leans heavily on the decor accents to bring the glam. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Hollywood Regency Design," 30 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

O'Neill said at recent news conference at a command center at police headquarters. Tom Hays, Fox News, "Police beef up security for UN gathering, Trump visit," 22 Sep. 2018 The technology began testing in New York City’s counterterrorism command center, which is part of the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, in March 2010. James Vincent, The Verge, "IBM secretly used New York’s CCTV cameras to train its surveillance software," 6 Sep. 2018 But the dream of the ultimate smart house, where one command center controls the entire thing, is not out of reach, especially with some professional help. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "Inside a prefab house tricked out with smart home tech," 20 Aug. 2018 The driver area is smartly designed as an intuitive command center with a tall 40 inches of front headroom. Mark Maynard, sandiegouniontribune.com, "2018 Kia Niro PHEV: The future of plug-and-play," 13 July 2018 Many family members have spent every day and night at the command center near the cave, praying for the boys to come out alive. New York Times, "In Daring Underwater Cave Rescue, 4 of 13 Thai Are Freed," 8 July 2018 Look for the red, white and blue Kentucky mobile command center, the vehicle that will be hosting the exchange operations. Terry Demio, Cincinnati.com, "Needle exchanges to roll into Newport, Covington, offering drug users sterile equipment," 27 June 2018 In the midafternoon of January 11, 2007, US Air Force major general William Shelton sat at the head of a table in a command center at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, holding a telephone to each ear. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "The New Arms Race Threatening to Explode in Space," 26 June 2018 EquuSearch put out a call for help searching by foot and ATV, coordinating efforts from a command center set up in the parking lot of Texas Truck Parts and Tires on Wallisville. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "EquuSearch launches hunt for missing Houston mom," 24 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

15 Mar 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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