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 killing later Sunday of a commander with Kataeb Hezbollah, one of Iran’s staunchest allies in Iraq, was also a first. James Mcauley,, "Israeli strikes on Iranian allies ratchet up tensions," 25 Aug. 2019 The novel won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1975, and Maxwell spent more than 15 years trying to bring the story of Gettysburg and the rich array of Civil War commanders to life on film. Major Garrett, CBS News, "Why Gettysburg still resonates," 23 Aug. 2019 The last unrest in the Valley broke out in July 2016 as a spontaneous reaction to the killing of the militant commander Burhan Wani. Riyaz Wani, Quartz India, "After three weeks of lockdown, this is what Kashmir looks like," 22 Aug. 2019 The detective's findings will be presented to a firearms review board, which is comprised of three commanders and two other officers. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "After fatal IMPD shooting, gun's location raises questions Chief Roach can't answer," 7 Aug. 2019 Kilgo, who assumes the role of senior commander of APG and the Army Communications-Electronics Command, comes to the post from the U.S. Central Command MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. Erika Butler,, "New commanding general sees ‘nothing but promise’ for Aberdeen Proving Ground in event of another BRAC," 6 Aug. 2019 To facilitate his criminal enterprise, Francis threw opulent dinners for scores of Naval commanders from the 1990s through the time of his arrest. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Admiral that oversaw Gallagher prosecution implicated in ‘Fat Leonard’ probe, Navy documents indicate," 5 Aug. 2019 Neighbors discover a notorious poacher asphyxiated in his cabin; soon after, the body of a police commander turns up at the bottom of a well. Julian Lucas, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 22 July 2019 Also installed during the meeting was Thomas Clavell, for the 2019-20 year as the Sons of the American Legion commander for the Western Maryland District. Shiela Johnson,, "North Carroll: Scholarships awarded to local students; National Night Out upcoming in Hampstead, Manchester," 15 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

4 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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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