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

Iran’s navy commander, Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, offered to dispatch the Iranian navy to escort the Adrian Darya 1, according to Iran’s Mehr news agency. Liz Sly,, "Gibraltar rejects US request to seize Iranian oil tanker," 18 Aug. 2019 One man, Lindbergh, could be the living link between the pilot of the first powered flight and the commander of the first mission to another world. Wade Roush, Scientific American, "Despite What You Might Think, Major Technological Changes Are Coming More Slowly Than They Once Did," 13 Aug. 2019 Soon after, Cushman moved to Nashville to seek work at a new theater, and was hired by the espionage chief for the commander of the Army of the Cumberland. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, "The Actress Who Left the Stage to Become a Civil War Spy," 12 Aug. 2019 Nick Ducich served as the commander of a NATO Peacekeeping Task Force in Eastern Kosovo when a spring snowstorm blanketed his post. Daniel Langhorne, Daily Pilot, "New Los Alamitos training base commander prepares for natural disasters, future conflicts," 31 July 2019 After Blasnek was promoted to commander in January and reassigned, Slater served as interim captain while the department searched for a new leader. Sara Cardine, La Cañada Valley Sun, "Lt. Mark Slater to retire from CV Station after 33 years with county sheriff’s department," 24 July 2019 Ings, a retired Orlando police commander and 13-year city commissioner, is one of three challengers opposing Dyer for the seat. Ryan Gillespie,, "Orlando mayoral hopeful Sam Ings reels in civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump’s endorsement," 23 July 2019 Apollo 16 mission commander John Young and Mr. Duke, the lunar module pilot, would soon descend the wobbly ladder to become the ninth and 10th humans to walk on the moon. Eva Botkin-kowacki, The Christian Science Monitor, "Apollo 11 at 50: How the moon landing changed the world," 16 July 2019 Police said the attack targeted Malik Toor, a pro-government militia commander, who was killed in the blast. Amir Shah,, "American service member killed in Afghanistan — Taliban claim responsibility," 13 July 2019

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

18 Sep 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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Comments on commander

What made you want to look up commander? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

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