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, 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

We were joined by members of the Sheriff’s Office command staff, including Matthew Schuler, an assistant sheriff and commander of the Custody Services Bureau. Otis R. Taylor Jr.,, "Richmond’s Mayor Butt meets ICE detainees," 12 July 2018 In 1950, President Harry S. Truman named General Douglas MacArthur commander-in-chief of United Nations forces in Korea., "This day in history," 8 July 2018 President from 2001 until early 2009, when President Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th U.S. commander-in-chief, Bush has a varied legacy. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Happy birthday to George W. Bush, the most doll-friendly president," 6 July 2018 Like the current commander-in-chief, the media mogul and book club queen is a celebrity. Ariana Romero,, "The Handmaid's Tale Needed Oprah As Much As We Do," 27 June 2018 The commander-in-chief cited the team's participation in the national anthem protests. Peter Dawson, star-telegram, "President Trump disinvites Super Bowl champion Eagles from White House visit," 4 June 2018 Under the federal-state setup of the National Guard, governors are the commanders-in-chief of their state’s forces. Melody Gutierrez, San Francisco Chronicle, "Trump asks California to send National Guard to border. Will California say yes?," 4 Apr. 2018 But Christopher Swift, adjunct professor of national security studies at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, said Trump could use his authority as commander-in-chief to build a border wall on an emergency basis. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, "Trump wants border wall built with military spending," 27 Mar. 2018 According to speculation, British government officials worry that inviting Barack and Michelle Obama could create political complications with President Trump, especially if the current commander-in-chief didn't make the guest list at all. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Everything We Know About Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Wedding," 23 Mar. 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

16 Oct 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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one that holds something together

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