com·​mis·​sary | \ ˈkä-mə-ˌser-ē How to pronounce commissary (audio) , -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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from commissary

commissarial \ ˌkä-​mə-​ˈsär-​ē-​əl How to pronounce commissarial (audio) , -​ˈser-​ \ adjective

Examples of commissary in a Sentence

will serve as commissary of religious education for the whole diocese
Recent Examples on the Web CommonWealth Kitchen is home to a host of small food businesses, with each chef renting time in its commissary kitchen to make their products. Globe Staff,, "Diverse, locally owned food start-ups make the menus at Harvard, UMass, and BC," 24 Jan. 2020 Through CloudKitchens, Kalanick aims to build commissary kitchens that can be used by food-delivery businesses. Washington Post, "Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick cuts his last ties with the ride-hailing giant," 24 Dec. 2019 Eight brands brew at the facility on a revolving schedule, much like a commissary for food start-ups. Washington Post, "Fresh, local and unpretentious: A Swedish city with a stirring culinary scene," 31 Jan. 2020 Cronin will move its headquarters to the top floor of the Drydock building, from Liberty Wharf, and put a commissary and restaurant on the ground floor. Jon Chesto,, "Beyond restaurants: Jon Cronin scores victories at City Hall, State House in new ventures," 23 Jan. 2020 Royal Blue Grocery’s effort to open a specialty food store and commissary in Oak Cliff has inspired some changes at Dallas City Hall that should benefit other small businesses trying to expand. Maria Halkias, Dallas News, "Royal Blue Grocery gets a $350,000 economic development loan for an Oak Cliff store," 8 Jan. 2020 Current construction is focused on a state-of-the-art commissary that will allow event staff to prepare a wider variety of snacks during basketball games and events. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "Be 'part of history': Help the Phoenix Suns renovate Talking Stick Resort Arena," 16 Dec. 2019 The Prison Policy Initiative, an organization working to reduce mass incarceration, estimates that families spend $2.9 billion a year on commissary accounts and phone calls. Nicole Lewis, New York Times, "How Families Cope with the Hidden Costs of Incarceration for the Holidays," 17 Dec. 2019 Mornings start before sunrise at the sprawling Slauson commissary in South Los Angeles., "She feeds Bel-Air’s mega-mansion boom. But lunch is a battlefield," 13 Nov. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about commissary

Time Traveler for commissary

Time Traveler

The first known use of commissary was in 1555

See more words from the same year

Statistics for commissary

Last Updated

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Commissary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for commissary


How to pronounce commissary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of commissary

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

More from Merriam-Webster on commissary

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for commissary

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with commissary

Comments on commissary

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!