Definition of commandeer
- Civilians were commandeered by the army and forced to fight.
- The soldiers commandeered civilian vehicles to help transport the injured.
- The city commandeered 60 acres of the property by eminent domain for a new high school.
The soldiers commandeered civilian vehicles to help transport the injured.
an airliner commandeered by terrorists
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'commandeer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Military forces have always had the power to commandeer houses. The Declaration of Independence complains about the way the British soldiers have done it, and the third Amendment to the Constitution states that the commandeering of people's houses shall be done only in a way prescribed by law. Almost anything—food, supplies, livestock, etc.—can be militarily commandeered when the need arises. But you don't have to be in the military for someone to "pull rank" on you: Your father may commandeer the car just when you were about to take it out for the evening, your teacher may commandeer your cell phone as you're texting in the middle of class, or your older sister may commandeer the TV remote to watch some lousy dancing competition.
First Known Use: 1881See Words from the same year
: to take (something, such as a vehicle or building) by force especially for military purposes
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