Thesaurus

command

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of command

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 a statement of what to do that must be obeyed by those concerned
  • the captain's commands were followed without question

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2 a highly developed skill in or knowledge of something
  • a command of French that is the result of a year spent in France as an exchange student

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3 the place from which a commander runs operations
  • the general set up his command in the old port city

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4 a place from which authority is exercised
  • central command

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5 the right or means to command or control others
  • the army officer in command during the attack

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6 all that can be seen from a certain point
  • from his mountain perch, the scout had a command of the entire valley

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command

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of command (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to issue orders to (someone) by right of authority
  • the general commanded his troops with Caesar-like imperiousness

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2 to request the doing of by virtue of one's authority
  • the governor has commanded that all state flags be flown at half-mast

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3 to ask for (something) earnestly or with authority
  • an act of courage that commands the admiration of all who witnessed it

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4 to exercise authority or power over
  • a cabinet secretary who commands the largest department in the federal government

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5 to keep, control, or experience as one's own
  • local government does not command the resources that are needed to respond to such a huge disaster

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6 to look down on
  • for centuries an imposing castle has commanded that stretch of the river

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7 to serve as leader of
  • the head of the agency commands an army of workers trained to respond to the immediate needs of disaster victims

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8 to set or receive as a price
  • commands a high fee for his decorating services

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About command

How does the noun command contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of command are authority, control, dominion, jurisdiction, power, and sway. While all these words mean "the right to govern or rule or determine," command implies the power to make arbitrary decisions and compel obedience.

the army officer in command

When can authority be used instead of command?

The meanings of authority and command largely overlap; however, authority implies power for a specific purpose within specified limits.

granted the authority to manage her estate

In what contexts can control take the place of command?

Although the words control and command have much in common, control stresses the power to direct and restrain.

you are responsible for the students under your control

When is it sensible to use dominion instead of command?

While in some cases nearly identical to command, dominion stresses sovereign power or supreme authority.

given dominion over all the animals

When is jurisdiction a more appropriate choice than command?

While the synonyms jurisdiction and command are close in meaning, jurisdiction applies to official power exercised within prescribed limits.

the bureau having jurisdiction over parks

Where would power be a reasonable alternative to command?

The synonyms power and command are sometimes interchangeable, but power implies possession of ability to wield force, authority, or influence.

the power to mold public opinion

When might sway be a better fit than command?

In some situations, the words sway and command are roughly equivalent. However, sway suggests the extent of exercised power or influence.

the empire extended its sway over the region

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Time Traveler for command

Time Traveler

The first known use of command was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Command.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/command. Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on command

Dictionary: Definition of command

Nglish: Translation of command for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of command for Arabic Speakers

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