order

verb
or·​der | \ ˈȯr-dər How to pronounce order (audio) \
ordered; ordering\ ˈȯr-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce ordering (audio) \

Definition of order

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to put in order : arrange The books are ordered alphabetically by author.
2a : to give an order to : command They ordered everyone out of the house.
b : destine, ordain so ordered by the gods
c : to command to go or come to a specified place ordered back to the base
d : to give an order for order a meal I ordered the books from the company's website. The judge ordered a new trial.

intransitive verb

1 : to bring about order : regulate a renascence of the spirit that orders and controls— H. G. Wells
2a : to issue orders : command The general orders and soldiers obey.
b : to give or place an order Be sure to order before it's too late.

order

noun

Definition of order (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a group of people united in a formal way: such as
(1) : a fraternal society the Masonic Order
(2) : a community under a religious rule especially : one requiring members to take solemn vows
b : a badge or medal of such a society also : a military decoration
2a : any of the several grades of the Christian ministry
b orders plural : the office of a person in the Christian ministry
c orders plural : ordination
3a : a rank, class, or special group in a community or society
b : a class of persons or things grouped according to quality, value, or natural characteristics: such as
(1) : a category of taxonomic classification ranking above the family and below the class
(2) : the broadest category in soil classification
4a(1) : rank, level a statesman of the first order
(2) : category, class in emergencies of this order— R. B. Westerfield
b(1) : the arrangement or sequence of objects or of events in time listed the items in order of importance the batting order
(2) : a sequential arrangement of mathematical elements
d(1) : the number of times differentiation is applied successively derivatives of higher order
(2) of a differential equation : the order of the derivative of highest order
e : the number of columns or rows or columns and rows in a magic square, determinant, or matrix the order of a matrix with 2 rows and 3 columns is 2 by 3
f : the number of elements in a finite mathematical group
5a(1) : a sociopolitical system was opposed to changes in the established order
(2) : a particular sphere or aspect of a sociopolitical system the present economic order
b : a regular or harmonious arrangement the order of nature
6a : a prescribed form of a religious service : rite
b : the customary mode of procedure especially in debate point of order
7a : the state of peace, freedom from confused or unruly behavior, and respect for law or proper authority promised to restore law and order
b : a specific rule, regulation, or authoritative direction : command
8a : a style of building
b : a type of column and entablature forming the unit of a style
9a : state or condition especially with regard to functioning or repair things were in terrible order
b : a proper, orderly, or functioning condition their passports were in order the phone is out of order
10a : a written direction to pay money to someone
b : a commission to purchase, sell, or supply goods or to perform work
c : goods or items bought or sold
d : an assigned or requested undertaking landing men on the moon was a tall order
11 : order of the day flat roofs were the order in the small villages
in order
: appropriate, desirable an apology is in order
in order to
: for the purpose of
on order
: in the process of being ordered
on the order of
1 : after the fashion of : like a genius on the order of Newton— D. B. Botkin
2 : about, approximately spent on the order of two million dollars
to order
: according to the specifications of an order shoes made to order

Illustration of order

Illustration of order

Noun

order 8b: 1 Corinthian, 2 Doric, 3 Ionic

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from order

Verb

orderable \ ˈȯr-​d(ə-​)rə-​bəl How to pronounce orderable (audio) \ adjective
orderer \ ˈȯr-​dər-​ər How to pronounce orderer (audio) \ noun

Noun

orderless \ ˈȯr-​dər-​ləs How to pronounce orderless (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for order

Verb

order, arrange, marshal, organize, systematize, methodize mean to put persons or things into their proper places in relation to each other. order suggests a straightening out so as to eliminate confusion. ordered her business affairs arrange implies a setting in sequence, relationship, or adjustment. arranged the files numerically marshal suggests gathering and arranging in preparation for a particular operation or effective use. marshaling the facts for argument organize implies arranging so that the whole aggregate works as a unit with each element having a proper function. organized the volunteers into teams systematize implies arranging according to a predetermined scheme. systematized billing procedures methodize suggests imposing an orderly procedure rather than a fixed scheme. methodizes every aspect of daily living

synonyms see in addition command

Examples of order in a Sentence

Verb

They ordered everyone out of the house. The soldiers were ordered back to the base. “Stop! Drop your weapon!” ordered the officer. The court threw out the conviction and ordered a new trial. The judge ordered that the charges be dismissed. He was accused of ordering the murder of his wife. I ordered the books from the company's Web site. The shirt you ordered should arrive in the mail in a couple of days. To order, call the number at the bottom of your screen. Order now and receive a free gift!

Noun

That's an order, not a request! Failing to comply with an order will result in the loss of your job. She received an order to appear in court. They can't close down the school without an order from the governor's office. The mayor gave an order to evacuate the city. It's not his fault. He was only following orders. I'm not taking orders from you! You're not my boss. The city was evacuated by order of the mayor. The store received an order for 200 roses this morning. They had trouble filling large customer orders.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In episode 7 of the first season of CAOS, Madame Satan gets a little hungry and orders some pizza. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Is there a Riverdale/Greendale Crossover in Our Future?," 10 May 2019 Something to consider when hosting 10 or more people is hiring a caterer or ordering food from your favorite restaurant. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "A Celebrity Event Planner’s Secrets for the Best Holiday Party Ever," 10 Oct. 2018 Fans hoping to try out the drink can head over to Starbucks today and order it. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Ariana Grande Just Dropped a Starbucks Drink and Coffee-Lovers are Obsessed," 5 Mar. 2019 Despite having broken out of prison, Murtagh is a wanted man (both by the red coats, and Aunt Jocasta), and the final scenes of the season reveal that Jamie has been ordered by Governor Tryon to hunt him down. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Outlander's Season 4 Finale Left Us With Some Questions," 28 Jan. 2019 She's even ordered multiple dresses in different colors! Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Almost No One Realized Meghan Markle Wore a Repeat Outfit This Weekend," 23 Oct. 2018 The drink will come in two flavors, caramel and cinnamon, and can be ordered hot or cold. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Ariana Grande Just Dropped a Starbucks Drink and Coffee-Lovers are Obsessed," 5 Mar. 2019 The mounts start at $1,848.00, and can be ordered directly on Hidden Vision's website. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "This Hidden TV Mount Will Make You Want To Put a TV in Every Room," 23 Feb. 2019 The smart shelves light up to help store employees pick orders for Kroger’s curbside grocery pickup service, where customers order online and then later in the day have their bags brought out to their car in the parking lot. Dina Bass, The Seattle Times, "Kroger, Microsoft test futuristic grocery store in Redmond. Amazon, take note.," 7 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Moss plays Offred, the title character, whose resistance to the new world order is the show’s central conflict. Alina Cho, Marie Claire, "Women of the Hour: Thandie Newton, Elisabeth Moss, and Sandra Oh," 5 Apr. 2019 The order of worship generally reflects the practices of each denomination but the theme of joyful celebration is consistent across all the services. Morin Bishop, Woman's Day, "What’s an Easter Sunrise Service? Here's Everything You Need to Know," 22 Mar. 2019 My favorite thing to order is their cioppino soup and quinoa cake. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "How One Honolulu-Based Artist Gets Dressed to Work in Paradise," 7 Mar. 2019 On particularly hectic days, you might be tempted to add extra shots of espresso to your usual coffee order—then proceed to have a bunch of those. Korin Miller, SELF, "Is Coffee Actually Dehydrating?," 6 Mar. 2019 Reuters claims the order has been under consideration for as long as eight months, citing anonymous sources. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "New Trump order may officially ban Huawei and ZTE from 5G rollout, per report," 27 Dec. 2018 The order to revoke his license will be effective as of 5pm Pacific Time on December 21, 2018. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Doctor, once hired by clinic that sees Tesla workers, just lost his license," 11 Dec. 2018 Early in 1998, the historian Eric Hobsbawm went to Buckingham Palace to be made a Companion of Honour, thereby joining one of the most distinguished orders in British public life. Richard Aldous, WSJ, "‘Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History’ Review: The Outsider as Insider," 3 May 2019 Prince Harry was appointed a Knight Commander of the order (which is lower than a GCVO) in 2015. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Queen Honors Kate Middleton with a High Rank in Chivalry," 29 Apr. 2019

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

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for order

Verb

Middle English, from ordre, noun

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French ordre, from Medieval Latin & Latin; Medieval Latin ordin-, ordo ecclesiastical order, from Latin, arrangement, group, class; akin to Latin ordiri to lay the warp, begin

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Statistics for order

Last Updated

20 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for order

The first known use of order was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for order

alternative order

noun

Financial Definition of alternative order

What It Is

An alternative order is a group of limit orders linked together within a brokerage account. If one order is executed, all other linked orders are automatically canceled.

How It Works

Sometimes called an "either-or" order or a "one-cancels-all" order, an alternative order essentially gives an investor the choice to buy one out of a number of different stocks for the best price in the shortest amount of time.

If an order is partially filled, the remaining orders will be reduced proportionately to the remaining quantity of the unfilled order. If the customer cancels an order before the execution, all orders will be canceled. If the system cancels or rejects the order, the remaining orders will not automatically be canceled.

This trading strategy is best illustrated with an example.

Let's assume an investor wants to invest $10,000 in the market, but he wants to buy stock in only one of three companies. He knows the circumstances under which he wants to buy each company (the "trigger condition”).  He places an alternative order with the following trigger conditions:

a) Limit Order 1 - Company X is trading at $40. The investor places a limit order to buy Company X if it drops to $35.

b) Limit Order 2 - Company Y is trading at $42. The investor places a limit order to buy Company Y if it drops to $38­.

c) Limit Order 3 - Company Z is trading at $45. The investor places a limit order to buy Company Z if it drops to $40.

Company X and Y hold steady, but Company Z drops to $40 and triggers Limit Order 3. The limit order for Company Z is executed and automatically cancels the limit orders for Company X and Company Y.

Why It Matters

Alternative orders allow investors flexibility to bet on their informed hunches, while curtailing their exposure. They can make a dynamic bet on the market, simultaneously playing several angles, with a floor as to how much they can lose.

This type of order is more complex than a normal order, and not all brokerages accept alternative orders. Even when brokerages do, the procedures, rules and terms may vary. Check with your brokers for the specific details before placing an alternative order.

Source: Investing Answers

open order

noun

Financial Definition of open order

What It Is

An open order is an instruction to buy or sell securities that has not been executed or cancelled.  Another term used is "backlog order."

How It Works

An order may remain open when an investor places conditions on their transaction, such as a price minimum.   If the condition is not met (e.g. the stock has not yet reached the minimum amount requested by the investor), the order remains "open."

Why It Matters

While a market order is executed immediately, an open order may take time to fill or may remain unfilled.  It is important for the investor to monitor market conditions and keep track of their open orders and be sure that each order should remain in effect and be filled over time.

Source: Investing Answers

qualified domestic relations order

noun

Financial Definition of qualified domestic relations order

What It Is

A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) is a legal document used to split a  person's retirement plan, usually as part of a divorce decree.

How It Works

For example, let's assume that Jane and John are getting divorced. John has a 401(k) with $500,000 in it. The presiding judge decides that they will split the 401(k) 50/50. In order to officially do so, the judge will sign a QDRO (pronounced "quadro") directing the account's custodian to put 50% of the 401(k) in a separate account under Jane's name.

A QDRO must specifically describe the percentage of benefits to be allocated to the ex-spouse. It may not award amounts or benefits that are not available under the spouse's retirement plan.

Why It Matters

QDROs help people allocate tax responsibilities after divorce. In our example, Jane becomes responsible for any taxes incurred when she begins taking distributions of the 401(k) money. Without the QDRO, John would have been legally responsible for the taxes on the distributions, even if he gives or is ordered to give Jane the proceeds.

Source: Investing Answers

order

verb

English Language Learners Definition of order

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to use your authority to tell someone to do something : to give an order to someone
: to say that (something) must be done
: to request (something) from a company

order

noun

English Language Learners Definition of order (Entry 2 of 2)

: a statement made by a person with authority that tells someone to do something : an instruction or direction that must be obeyed
: a specific request asking a company to supply goods or products to a customer
: a product or a group of products that someone has requested from a company

order

verb
or·​der | \ ˈȯr-dər How to pronounce order (audio) \
ordered; ordering

Kids Definition of order

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to put into a particular grouping or sequence : arrange Dictionary entries are ordered alphabetically.
2 : to give a command to or for The general ordered troops into battle. I went to the counter to order lunch.

order

noun

Kids Definition of order (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a certain rule or regulation : command … when he gave orders … everyone knew … that he expected to be obeyed.— Anna Sewell, Black Beauty
2 : the arrangement of objects or events in space or time List the names in alphabetical order.
3 : the way something should be He kept the room in order.
4 : the state of things when law or authority is obeyed Troops restored order after the riot.
5 : good working condition The telephone is out of order.
6 : a statement of what a person wants to buy Place your order for a birthday cake.
7 : goods or items bought or sold an order of pancakes
8 : a group of people united (as by living under the same religious rules or by loyalty to common needs or duties) He belongs to an order of monks.
9 orders plural : the office of a person in the Christian ministry holy orders
10 : a group of related living things (as plants or animals) that ranks above the family and below the class in scientific classification Bats form an order of mammals in the animal kingdom.
11 : a written direction to pay a sum of money
in order that
: so that
in order to
: for the purpose of

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or·​der | \ ˈȯrd-ər How to pronounce order (audio) \
ordered; ordering\ ˈȯrd-​(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce ordering (audio) \

Medical Definition of order

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to give a prescription for : prescribe the doctor ordered bed rest

order

noun

Medical Definition of order (Entry 2 of 2)

: a category of taxonomic classification ranking above the family and below the class

order

noun
or·​der

Legal Definition of order

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a state of peace, freedom from unruly behavior, and respect for law and proper authority maintain law and order
2 : an established mode or state of procedure a call to order
3a : a mandate from a superior authority — see also executive order
b : a ruling or command made by a competent administrative authority specifically : one resulting from administrative adjudication and subject to judicial review and enforcement an administrative order may not be inconsistent with the Constitution Wells v. State, 654 So. 2d 145 (1995)
c : an authoritative command issued by the court violated a court order and was jailed for contempt
cease-and-desist order \ ˌsēs-​ənd-​di-​ˈzist-​, -​ˈsist-​ \
: an order from a court or quasi-judicial tribunal to stop engaging in a particular activity or practice (as an unfair labor practice) — compare injunction, mandamus, stay
consent order
: an agreement of litigating parties that by consent takes the form of a court order
final order
: an order of a court or quasi-judicial tribunal which leaves nothing further to be determined or accomplished in that forum except execution of the judgment and from which an appeal will lie
gag order
: an order barring public disclosure or discussion (as by the involved parties or the press) of information relating to a case
order to show cause
: an order requiring the prospective object of a legal action to show cause why that action should not take place

called also show cause order

pretrial order
: a court order setting out the rulings, stipulations, and other actions taken at a pretrial conference
protection order
: restraining order in this entry
protective order
: an order issued for the protection of a particular party: as
a : an order that limits, denies, or defers discovery by a party in order to prevent undue embarrassment, expense, oppression, or disclosure of trade secrets
b : restraining order in this entry
qualified domestic relations order
: an order, decree, or judgment that satisfies the criteria set out in section 414 of the Internal Revenue Code for the payment of all or part of individual pension, profit sharing, or retirement benefits usually to a divorcing spouse (as for alimony or child support)

Note: The alienation or assignment of funds under a qualified domestic relations order does not affect the tax status of the plan from which such funds are paid.

restraining order \ ri-​ˈstrā-​niŋ-​ \
1 : temporary restraining order in this entry
2 : an order of a specified duration issued after a hearing attended by all parties that is intended to protect one individual from violence, abuse, harassment, or stalking by another especially by prohibiting or restricting access or proximity to the protected party excluded from the home by a restraining order issued because of domestic violence

called also protection order, protective order

— compare temporary restraining order in this entry
show cause order
: order to show cause in this entry
temporary restraining order
1 : an order of brief duration that is issued ex parte to protect the plaintiff's rights from immediate and irreparable injury by preserving a situation or preventing an act until a hearing for a preliminary injunction can be held
2 : a protective order issued ex parte for a brief period prior to a hearing on a restraining order attended by both parties and intended to provide immediate protection from violence or threatened violence
turnover order \ ˈtər-​ˌnō-​vər-​ \
: an order commanding one party to turn over property to another especially : an order commanding a judgment debtor to turn over assets to a judgment creditor turnover order in aid of execution California Code of Civil Procedure
d : a command issued by a military superior
4a : a direction regarding the party to whom a negotiable instrument shall be paid pay to the order of John Doe — see also money order, negotiable instrument
b : an instruction or authorization especially to buy or sell goods or securities or to perform work a purchase order a work order
alternative order
: an order to a broker in which alternative methods of carrying out the order (as by buying or selling) are set forth
open order
1 : an order to buy securities or commodity futures that remains effective until filled or canceled
2 : an order for merchandise expressed in very general terms so that the seller has considerable latitude in selecting the articles actually provided
stop order
: an order to a broker to buy or sell a security when the price advances or declines to a designated level
c : goods or items bought or sold the order was received in good condition
to order
: according to the specifications of an order especially of a bearer or endorsee payable to bearer or to order

order

adjective

Legal Definition of order (Entry 2 of 2)

: payable to a named person or to an individual that person names by an endorsement order instrument — compare bearer

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More from Merriam-Webster on order

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with order

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for order

Spanish Central: Translation of order

Nglish: Translation of order for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of order for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about order

Comments on order

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