commandeer

verb
com·​man·​deer | \ ˌkä-mən-ˈdir How to pronounce commandeer (audio) \
commandeered; commandeering; commandeers

Definition of commandeer

transitive verb

1a : to compel to perform military service Civilians were commandeered by the army and forced to fight.
b : to seize for military purposes The soldiers commandeered civilian vehicles to help transport the injured.
2 : to take arbitrary or forcible possession of The city commandeered 60 acres of the property by eminent domain for a new high school.

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Synonyms for commandeer

Synonyms

hijack (also highjack)

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Did You Know?

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.

Examples of commandeer in a Sentence

The soldiers commandeered civilian vehicles to help transport the injured. an airliner commandeered by terrorists

Recent Examples on the Web

Politicians commandeered badly needed military helicopters for their own use at times when bases like his were struggling for resupply. Rod Nordland, The Seattle Times, "The Afghan army’s last stand at Chinese Camp," 14 Aug. 2018 For viewers willing to pause and ponder, there’s plenty to relish in Ms. Celmins’s art, and in Mr. Garrels’s bravely commandeering a goodly amount of SFMoMA’s wall space for such quiet, modest works. Peter Plagens, WSJ, "‘Vija Celmins: To Fix the Image in Memory’ Review: Beauty in the Meticulous," 17 Dec. 2018 Rihanna downstairs in the lobby, commandeering a custodian’s cart in the middle of the night? James Barron, New York Times, "Nights at the Museum: When the Met Became a Movie Studio," 10 June 2018 Now multinational companies are targeting Citgo, hoping to resolve claims against Venezuela arising from a nationalization campaign that commandeered large investments there. WSJ, "Venezuela’s Citgo Is Pushed One Step Closer to Sale," 29 Oct. 2018 Along with the centralized bar and restaurant, DHA has commandeered several karaoke rooms. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Want to Be A Hacker? Go to Dallas.," 4 Dec. 2018 Authenticity debates will commandeer media cycles, pushing us into an infinite loop of perpetually investigating basic facts. Casey Newton, The Verge, "A looming strike over Project Dragonfly is putting new pressure on Google," 30 Nov. 2018 The WannaCry attack commandeered hundreds of government and corporate computers, holding their data for bitcoin ransom. Shane Shifflett, WSJ, "How Dirty Money Disappears Into the Black Hole of Cryptocurrency," 28 Sep. 2018 The leagues and the Justice Department argued PASPA doesn’t commandeer New Jersey to adopt any scheme. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Why New Jersey Won Its Supreme Court Battle to Legalize Sports Betting," 14 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of commandeer

1881, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for commandeer

Afrikaans kommandeer, from French commander to command, from Old French comander

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Statistics for commandeer

Last Updated

14 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for commandeer

The first known use of commandeer was in 1881

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More Definitions for commandeer

commandeer

verb

English Language Learners Definition of commandeer

formal : to take (something, such as a vehicle or building) by force especially for military purposes

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More from Merriam-Webster on commandeer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with commandeer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for commandeer

Spanish Central: Translation of commandeer

Nglish: Translation of commandeer for Spanish Speakers

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