com·​mand·​ment | \ kə-ˈman(d)-mənt How to pronounce commandment (audio) \

Definition of commandment

1 : the act or power of commanding
2 : something that is commanded especially : one of the biblical Ten Commandments

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Examples of commandment in a Sentence

the Ten Commandments in the Bible the boss left behind a list of commandments for running the office while he was away
Recent Examples on the Web Vaclav Smil put this point in his usual pithy way in the form of a commandment. Jemma Green, Forbes, 19 May 2021 Some theologians suggest that putting words into God’s mouth is tantamount to breaking the third commandment, the one about not taking the Lord’s name in vain. San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 May 2021 More needs to be done, Gabriel said, so that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — and those of other faiths, too — adhere to the commandment to love their neighbors, no matter their race or ethnicity. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Apr. 2021 But Jim Matthews, who joined that same church not long after Pankey left, says there's another commandment Pankey seems to be having trouble with: thou shalt not bear false witness. Richard Schlesinger, CBS News, 27 Mar. 2021 That commandment from God is inscribed on a fragment found in a dig organized by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Judean Desert. Philissa Cramer,, 17 Mar. 2021 Compensation committees have, however, tended to stick to a narrow reading of the commandment. The Economist, 20 Feb. 2021 Democrats and Republicans eager to tidily conclude former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial within a week may have a fresh obstacle in front of them: the biblical commandment to keep the Jewish Sabbath. Maggie Haberman,, 6 Feb. 2021 Toward the end of his life, Jesus was challenged by a Pharisee, in Jerusalem, to name the greatest commandment. Michael Luo, The New Yorker, 20 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'commandment.' 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 commandment

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for commandment

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The first known use of commandment was in the 13th century

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Statistics for commandment

Last Updated

31 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Commandment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for commandment



English Language Learners Definition of commandment

: an important rule given by God that tells people how to behave


com·​mand·​ment | \ kə-ˈmand-mənt How to pronounce commandment (audio) \

Kids Definition of commandment

1 : something given as a command
2 : one of ten rules given by God that are mentioned in the Bible


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