com·​mis·​sary ˈkä-mə-ˌser-ē How to pronounce commissary (audio)
plural commissaries
: one delegated by a superior to execute a duty or an office
: a store for equipment and provisions
especially : a supermarket for military personnel
: food supplies
: a lunchroom especially in a motion-picture studio
commissarial adjective

Examples of commissary in a Sentence

will serve as commissary of religious education for the whole diocese
Recent Examples on the Web After hours, the 1,100-square-foot space will double as the butchery and pasta commissary kitchen for all Crown Restaurant Group restaurants, both of which Young will oversee. Haadiza Ogwude, The Enquirer, 7 May 2024 Since then, most state prisons across the US have either started selling electronic tablets out of their commissaries or providing the hardware for free. Gabrielle Caplan, WIRED, 6 May 2024 These are just a few of the findings from a nine-month investigation of prison commissaries. Seyward Darby, Longreads, 23 Apr. 2024 The earnings allegedly came from a Clark County Sheriff's Office bank account which main source of income was sales from the jail commissary. Leo Bertucci, The Courier-Journal, 23 Feb. 2024 The Pulaski County sheriff shared more information about the terms and results of a Netflix reality TV show filmed in the jail last year in his answers to questions from the Quorum Court that also touched on safety considerations and payments made to inmates' commissary accounts. Grant Lancaster,, 6 Apr. 2024 During the intermission, before Stapleton came on—prime selling time—the commissary ran out of hot dogs and churros, and Duvalsaint had to settle for cotton candy, without much success. Adam Elder, The New Yorker, 1 Apr. 2024 The 1,100-square-foot space will double as the butchery and pasta commissary kitchen for all Crown Restaurant Group restaurants, both of which will be overseen by Young. Keith Pandolfi, The Enquirer, 18 Jan. 2024 In addition, a small meat counter and commissary is planned to sell grab-and-go prepared food items. Stephen Underwood, Hartford Courant, 1 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'commissary.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of commissary was in 1555

Dictionary Entries Near commissary

Cite this Entry

“Commissary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


com·​mis·​sary ˈkäm-ə-ˌser-ē How to pronounce commissary (audio)
plural commissaries
: a person to whom a duty or office is entrusted by someone of higher rank
: a store that provides supplies (as food) especially to members of the military and their families
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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