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

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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

Most items were prepared in a central commissary and shipped to more than 1,000 restaurants, at Howard Johnson’s peak. Bob Greene, WSJ, "What Ever Happened to Howard Johnson’s?," 26 Sep. 2018 The Defense Department plans to gradually roll out beer and wine sales to most of its 237 commissaries in 13 countries. Saabira Chaudhuri, WSJ, "Liquor Makers Fight for Equal Footing on Military Bases," 15 Sep. 2018 The area where the body was found used to be the site of housing and the commissary for workers who mined the red ore. Carol Robinson,, "Retaliation abduction, murder of man left in dump tied to former Green Bay Packer Carlos Gray's slaying," 2 May 2018 How to make banana pudding, according to two former inmates: Crush commissary vanilla wafers in their bag and add hot water. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "Who Serves the Best Holiday Carrot Cake? Hint: It Has a Captive Audience," 25 Dec. 2018 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

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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Statistics for commissary

Last Updated

14 May 2019

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Time Traveler for commissary

The first known use of commissary was in 1555

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English Language Learners Definition of commissary

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

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behavior toward others

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