com·​mand·​er | \ kə-ˈman-dər How to pronounce commander (audio) \

Definition of commander

1 : one in an official position of command or control: such as
b : the presiding officer of a society or organization
2 : a commissioned officer in the navy or coast guard ranking above a lieutenant commander and below a captain

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Other Words from commander

commandership \ kə-​ˈman-​dər-​ˌship How to pronounce commandership (audio) \ noun

Examples of commander in a Sentence

a surrender of the fort by the commander without a single shot having been fired the intrepid commander of the HMS Surprise

Recent Examples on the Web

The testimony reviewed by The Times centers on a fugitive paramilitary commander, José Alberto Osorio Rojas, who prosecutors say was a top leader of the Twelve Apostles and went by the nicknames Rodrigo and El Mono. New York Times, "In Colombian Death Ranch Case, Some Fear Prosecution Will Be Buried," 8 July 2018 In a joint interview, Kenneth Johnson and his twin brother, Kevin, the commanders of the two districts, couldn’t say why Harrison hasn’t been able to make the same strides as Englewood. Jeremy Gorner,, "With high-tech help, there's been less bloodshed in Chicago this year, but results are mixed on the West Side," 4 July 2018 The proclamation came from sector New York commander, Capt. CBS News, "U.S. Coast Guard's long history of service in New York," 26 May 2018 General Powell was an Army corps commander at the time – not yet a top Washington insider – and he was intimidated, a bit, by the formality of the situation. Peter Grier, The Christian Science Monitor, "'A real rock:' The one-of-a-kind warmth and steel of Barbara Bush," 18 Apr. 2018 Another is to simulate the large personnel movements of a massive reinforcement operation, and to help commanders grapple with the sheer scale of an actual war. Michael O’hanlon, WSJ, "A Better Way to Prepare for War in Korea," 4 Sep. 2018 Handmaid’s Tale opened up the circle of Gilead creators even further as its 2018 run wound down, introducing commander Joseph Lawrence (Bradley Whitford, in his own creepissance)., "The Handmaid’s Tale," 13 July 2018 Jordan was the regional commander overseeing Parkland, the city where the high school is located. NBC News, "Parkland shooting investigation finds radio issues delayed police response," 12 July 2018 At that point according to the report the aircraft commander called for the four person crew to manually eject. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Air Force Grounds B-1s Over Ejection Seat Issue," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'commander.' 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 commander

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

20 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for commander

The first known use of commander was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for commander



English Language Learners Definition of commander

: a person who is in charge of a group of people
: an officer of high rank in the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, or the British Royal Navy


com·​mand·​er | \ kə-ˈman-dər How to pronounce commander (audio) \

Kids Definition of commander

: a commissioned officer in the navy or coast guard ranking above a lieutenant and below a captain

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