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 commander (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 If his nomination is approved by the Senate, Austin, 67, will be the second former uniformed military commander to lead the Pentagon in the last four years, following former Marine General Jim Mattis, President Trump's first secretary of defense. CBS News, "Watch Live: Biden introduces retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin as his pick to lead Defense Department," 9 Dec. 2020 Two years ago, a former commander of Air University at Maxwell told Montgomery education and business leaders that more than half of the airmen stationed at Maxwell come without their families because of the poor standing of the school system. Mike Cason |, al, "Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed says school tax vote was city’s ‘most crucial’ in decades," 1 Dec. 2020 The former commander, Adham al-Karad, and four of his companions were killed, sparking weeks of violence, according to opposition media reports corroborated by monitoring groups, analysts and social media posts. Sarah Dadouch, Washington Post, "Escalating violence in strategic Syrian city belies Assad’s claim that he’s in control," 24 Nov. 2020 The former Special Forces commander was promoted to assistant secretary of defense for special operations and then nominated director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "Behind the firing of Defense Secretary Mark Esper, a soldier at odds with his commanding officer," 10 Nov. 2020 Dennis Nixon, former national commander of the Disabled American Veterans, will serve as grand marshal. Dallas News, "Veteran’s Day across D-FW: saluting those who’ve served," 6 Nov. 2020 The man, Haji Najibullah, who has been described as a former Taliban commander, was ordered detained by a federal magistrate judge in Manhattan on Wednesday. Benjamin Weiser, New York Times, "After 12 Years, Arrest Made in Abduction of Former Times Journalist David Rohde," 28 Oct. 2020 Robert Masten, 78, a former commander of the American Legion’s District 20, said Tuesday. Sig Christenson,, "Pandemic cancels San Antonio Veterans Day ceremonies," 20 Oct. 2020 Kelly, the former commander of the NASA space shuttle Endeavour, met his wife during a Young Leaders Forum trip to China in 2003. Tom Zoellner, The New Republic, "Trumpism Ate Martha McSally’s Brain," 12 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for commander

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for commander

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Commander.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for commander


How to pronounce commander (audio)

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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