com·​mand·​ing | \ kə-ˈman-diŋ \

Definition of commanding

1 : drawing attention or priority a commanding presence
2 : difficult to overcome a commanding lead

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from commanding

commandingly \ kə-​ˈman-​diŋ-​lē \ adverb

Examples of commanding in a Sentence

He has a very commanding voice. She holds a commanding lead in the polls. Our team was in a commanding position as the game neared its end. The castle is in a commanding position at the top of the hill. The hill provides a commanding view of the surrounding countryside.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The Colombian attacker hit 11 goals in 31 Serie A appearances for Sampdoria last term and may have provided a commanding presence to lead Chelsea’s currently unconvincing attack., "Chelsea Miss Out on Colombian Attacker to Atalanta Despite Him Being Offered to Conte's Side," 11 July 2018 Updated on Tuesday, November 6, at 7:40 p.m.: The first race call of the night from the Associated Press came in Kentucky, where Republican Harold Rogers jumped out to a commanding lead shortly after polls closed at 6:00 p.m. in parts of the state. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "2018 Midterm Congressional Election Results: Which Party Is Winning the House and the Senate?," 7 Nov. 2018 Cantwell, the incumbent Democrat, held a commanding lead in early Tuesday returns in Washington state's U.S. Senate primary. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell to face Susan Hutchison in November," 7 Aug. 2018 Mark Torre, the commanding officer of the NYPD’s bomb squad] explained. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "How police use a ‘total containment vessel’ to haul away explosive devices," 24 Oct. 2018 Rezidenza Amblingh, set in an 18th-century mansion in the historical center of Vasto, has five smart rooms, two with commanding views of the Adriatic. David Farley, WSJ, "Where to Feast on Italy’s Freshest Seafood? These Historic Piers," 10 July 2018 The theater-style reclining rear bench allows passengers to have a commanding view of their surroundings. Malcolm Gunn,, "2018 Lexus NX," 28 June 2018 Located on the legendary Corniche along the bank of the river, the Four Seasons Nile Plaza has commanding views of both the Nile and the Citadel. Town & Country, "These Are the 83 Top Hotels Around the World," 6 Oct. 2016 In any event, the film is still hilarious, though time has dimmed the luster of Lemmon's hamming in favor of James Cagney's superbly psychotic commanding officer. Patrick Friel, Chicago Reader, "Crime / Dance / Film / On Video / Small Screen James Cagney is more than just a tough-guy as FilmStruck's Star of the Week," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'commanding.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of commanding

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about commanding

Share commanding

Statistics for commanding

Last Updated

11 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for commanding

The first known use of commanding was in 1591

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for commanding



English Language Learners Definition of commanding

: having a powerful or important quality that attracts attention, respect, etc.
: very likely to result in victory in a race, competition, etc.
: allowing you to see an area very well

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on commanding

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


excited commotion or publicity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!