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countermand

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verb coun·ter·mand \ˈkau̇n-tər-ˌmand, ˌkau̇n-tər-ˈmand\

Definition of countermand

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to revoke (a command) by a contrary order

  3. 2 :  to recall or order back by a superseding contrary order countermand reinforcements

countermand was our Word of the Day on 09/14/2010. Hear the podcast!

Examples of countermand in a Sentence

  1. Orders to blow up the bridge were countermanded.

Did You Know?

In the military, one's mandate is to follow the commands (and sometimes the "countermands") of the officers. Doing their bidding is not particularly commendable - it's simply mandatory. The Latin verb mandare, meaning "to entrust" or "to order," is the authority behind "countermand." It's also behind the words "mandate," "command," "demand," "commend" (which can mean "to entrust" as well as "to praise"), and "mandatory." "Countermand" came to English via Anglo French, where the prefix cuntre- ("against") was combined with the verb "mander" ("to command"). It has been a part of our language since the 1400s.

Origin and Etymology of countermand

Middle English countermaunden, from Anglo-French cuntremander, from cuntre- counter- + mander to command, from Latin mandare — more at mandate


2

countermand

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noun coun·ter·mand \ˈkau̇n-tər-ˌmand\

Definition of countermand

  1. 1 :  a contrary order

  2. 2 :  the revocation of an order or command

First Known Use of countermand

1548


COUNTERMAND Defined for English Language Learners

countermand

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verb

Definition of countermand for English Language Learners

  • : to cancel (an order) especially by giving a new order



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