com·​mis·​sion·​er | \ kə-ˈmi-sh(ə-)nər How to pronounce commissioner (audio) \

Definition of commissioner

: a person with a commission: such as
a : a member of a commission
b : the representative of the governmental authority in a district, province, or other unit often having both judicial and administrative powers
c : the officer in charge of a department or bureau of the public service
d : the administrative head of a professional sport

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Other Words from commissioner

commissionership \ kə-​ˈmi-​sh(ə-​)nər-​ˌship How to pronounce commissioner (audio) \ noun

Examples of commissioner in a Sentence

The baseball commissioner decided to suspend the players for 10 games.
Recent Examples on the Web After two decades in government and nonprofit work focused on those historically overlooked by city leaders, Rubio will begin a four-year term on the Portland City Council, becoming the first Latinx commissioner in its history. oregonlive, "Carmen Rubio, Portland’s 1st Latinx City Commissioner and proven bridge-builder, takes office," 5 Jan. 2021 Representatives from member states New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania voted in favor of the plan; the commissioner from New York, which has dealt with severe PCB pollution in the Hudson River, abstained. Washington Post, "Proposal to build LNG terminal on Delaware River could pose early test for the Biden administration," 5 Jan. 2021 The department also denied requests for an interview with Randi Breager, a special assistant to the public safety commissioner who prepared the report that said troopers and police in Alaska are rarely swabbing for arrests. Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska requires that DNA be collected from people arrested for violent crimes. Many police agencies have ignored that.," 31 Dec. 2020 Instead, insurers and providers can take disputes to the state insurance commissioner. CBS News, "New U.S. laws coming in 2021: Virus aid, minimum wage, legal weed," 30 Dec. 2020 The commissioner of the state’s unemployment system knew claims were increasing as the pandemic and its economic devastation spread. Nick Penzenstadler, USA Today, "How scammers siphoned $36B in fraudulent unemployment payments from US," 30 Dec. 2020 Bud Selig, the former commissioner, loved to talk about hope and faith. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, "The pandemic especially hurt Padres revenues, yet they’re spending to win anyway," 29 Dec. 2020 Scott Adkins, the acting commissioner for WorkForce, suggested West Virginians should wait until the state receives guidance before filing for additional claims to avoid a potential delay in receiving benefits. Tyler Arnold, Washington Examiner, "Justice says COVID-19 relief bill could have done more," 29 Dec. 2020 The newspaper obtained video that shows the 52-year-old commissioner being placed in a headlock and punched several times., "Florida city official involved in Christmas Eve fight outside bar: report," 29 Dec. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for commissioner

Middle English, "person empowered to carry out defined duties," borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Medieval Latin commissiōnārius, from commissiōn-, commissiō commission entry 1 + Latin -ārius -ary entry 1

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Time Traveler for commissioner

Time Traveler

The first known use of commissioner was in the 15th century

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Statistics for commissioner

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Commissioner.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for commissioner


How to pronounce commissioner (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of commissioner

: a member of a commission : one of a group of people who have been given the official job of finding information about something or controlling something
: an official who is in charge of a government department or part of a government department
US : an official who is in charge of a major professional sport (such as baseball, football, or hockey)


com·​mis·​sion·​er | \ kə-ˈmi-shə-nər How to pronounce commissioner (audio) , -ˈmish-nər \

Kids Definition of commissioner

1 : a member of a commission
2 : an official who is the head of a government department



Legal Definition of commissioner

: a person with a commission: as
a : a member of a commission
b often capitalized : the officer in charge of a government agency a police commissioner

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