com·​mand·​er | \kə-ˈman-dər \

Definition of commander 

1 : one in an official position of command or control: such as

a : commanding officer

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 \ noun

Synonyms for commander


captain, skip, skipper

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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

Thai Seal commander Arpakorn Yookonkaew told a news conference. George Styllis,, "Rescue mission seeking to free trapped Thai soccer team may face danger from weekend storms," 6 July 2018 In Vietnam, Soviet surface-to-air missile commanders and operators oversaw and operated radar sites and missile batteries resulting in the destruction of dozens of American aircraft and numerous killed, wounded and captured airmen. WSJ, "Russia and U.S. Crossed Swords Many Times," 16 Nov. 2018 In recent months, the 53-year-old commander has launched an anti-corruption unit and introduced plans for random integrity and polygraph testing. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Baltimore police commissioner admits he failed to file taxes in wake of federal charges," 2 Oct. 2018 Far too dangerous to enter, the commander on the scene decided. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "In a tragic loop, firefighters continue to die from preventable mistakes," 13 July 2018 In a video published by TMZ, comedian George Lopez can be seen pretending to urinate on the commander-in-chief's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with the help of a water bottle. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, "George Lopez pretends to urinate on Trump's Hollywood Walk of Fame star," 12 July 2018 More than 50 percent of the residence was destroyed in the fire, Atlanta police homicide commander Lt. Chelsea Prince, ajc, "Neighbors honor couple found strangled in burned Atlanta home," 12 July 2018 Charles Hodges of the United States Air Force, mission commander for the American team on site. Hannah Beech, Richard C. Paddock And Muktita Suhartono, New York Times, "‘Still Can’t Believe It Worked’: The Story of the Thailand Cave Rescue," 12 July 2018 Henkelman and three others drafted an ultimatum addressed to the regiment commander. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, "The One Time American Troops Fought Russians Was at the End of World War I—and They Lost," 9 Nov. 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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Statistics for commander

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for commander

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

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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 \

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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Comments on commander

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to enclose within walls

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