com·​mis·​sary | \ ˈkä-mə-ˌser-ē, -ˌse-rē\
plural commissaries

Definition of commissary 

1 : one delegated by a superior to execute a duty or an office
2a : a store for equipment and provisions especially : a supermarket for military personnel
b : food supplies
c : a lunchroom especially in a motion-picture studio

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Other Words from commissary

commissarial \ ˌkä-​mə-​ˈsär-​ē-​əl , -​ˈser-​ \ adjective

Examples of commissary in a Sentence

will serve as commissary of religious education for the whole diocese

Recent Examples on the Web

Jim Facteau, a former Clinton corrections officer, advised on details such as making sure the commissary sold powder shaving cream since aerosol cans are banned. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "Ben Stiller Goes Behind Bars for Showtime Series," 14 Nov. 2018 No approved commissary; the food equipment was stored outside the cart. Mari A. Schaefer,, "Mystery pretzels, moldy tomatoes and bloody floors recently closed Philadelphia eateries," 16 May 2018 Today, there are staff offices as well as a commissary and showers for the property’s gardening staff. Marian Mcevoy, ELLE Decor, "An Intimate Look Inside Yves Saint Laurent’s Private Marrakech Home," 2 Aug. 2018 Oh, and the prison commissary — West had worked there, too, for a year. Tommy Rowan,, "After 14 years in prison, ex-con fills out his first resume - and hopes," 12 June 2018 And in a unit reserved for the most dangerous inmates, a clerk from the commissary policed the corridors. New York Times, "Safety Concerns Grow as Inmates Are Guarded by Teachers and Secretaries," 17 June 2018 Just around the corner from Secret Garden is Hour Cucina, a commissary started by Susan Levin. Marcia Heroux Pounds,, "Boynton Beach incubator and commissary cooking up new food businesses," 5 July 2018 In Hawaii, there are high schools, and there are medical facilities, and there are PXs and commissaries. Jason Zengerle, New York Times, "How Devin Nunes Turned the House Intelligence Committee Inside Out," 24 Apr. 2018 He was sentenced to 20 days of disciplinary confinement, 20 days’ loss of commissary access and 20 days loss of telephone privileges, jail officials said. David Harris,, "Accused Kissimmee cop killer moved to Orange jail after officer uses force on him," 17 Apr. 2018

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

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for commissary

Middle English commissarie, borrowed from Anglo-French commissaire, commissarie, borrowed from Medieval Latin commissārius, from Latin commissus (past participle of committere "to join together, engage, place in the keeping of, entrust, bring about") + -ārius -ary entry 1 — more at commit

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Last Updated

24 Dec 2018

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The first known use of commissary was in 1555

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English Language Learners Definition of commissary

: a store that sells food and basic household supplies on a military base or in a prison

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