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Borrowed from Old French comander (modern French commander), from Vulgar Latin *commandare, from Latin commendare, from com- + mandare, from mandō (I order, command). Compare commend (a doublet), and mandate.



command (plural commands)

  1. An order to do something.
    I was given a command to cease shooting.
  2. The right or authority to order, control or dispose of; the right to be obeyed or to compel obedience.
    to have command of an army
  3. power of control, direction or disposal; mastery.
    he had command of the situation
    England has long held command of the sea
    a good command of language
  4. A position of chief authority; a position involving the right or power to order or control.
    General Smith was placed in command.
  5. The act of commanding; exercise or authority of influence.
    Command cannot be otherwise than savage, for it implies an appeal to force, should force be needful. (H. Spencer, Social Statics, p. 180)
  6. (military) A body or troops, or any naval or military force, under the control of a particular officer; by extension, any object or body in someone's charge.
  7. Dominating situation; range or control or oversight; extent of view or outlook.
  8. (computing) A directive to a computer program acting as an interpreter of some kind, in order to perform a specific task.
  9. (baseball) The degree of control a pitcher has over his pitches.
    He's got good command tonight.

Derived termsEdit




command (third-person singular simple present commands, present participle commanding, simple past and past participle commanded)

  1. (transitive) To order, give orders; to compel or direct with authority.
    The soldier was commanded to cease firing.
    The king commanded his servant to bring him dinner.
    • Francis Bacon
      We are commanded to forgive our enemies, but you never read that we are commanded to forgive our friends.
    • Shakespeare
      Go to your mistress: / Say, I command her come to me.
  2. (transitive) To have or exercise supreme power, control or authority over, especially military; to have under direction or control.
    to command an army or a ship
    • Macaulay
      Monmouth commanded the English auxiliaries.
    • Shakespeare
      Such aid as I can spare you shall command.
  3. (transitive) To require with authority; to demand, order, enjoin.
    he commanded silence
    If thou be the son of God, command that these stones be made bread. (Mat. IV. 3.)
    • 2013, Louise Taylor, English talent gets left behind as Premier League keeps importing (in The Guardian, 20 August 2013)[1]
      The reasons for this growing disconnect are myriad and complex but the situation is exacerbated by the reality that those English players who do smash through our game's "glass ceiling" command radically inflated transfer fees.
  4. (transitive) to dominate through ability, resources, position etc.; to overlook.
    Bridges commanded by a fortified house. (Motley.)
  5. (transitive) To exact, compel or secure by influence; to deserve, claim.
    A good magistrate commands the respect and affections of the people.
    Justice commands the respect and affections of the people.
    The best goods command the best price.
    This job commands a salary of £30,000.
  6. (transitive) To hold, to control the use of.
    The fort commanded the bay.
    • Motley
      bridges commanded by a fortified house
    • William Shakespeare
      Up to the eastern tower, / Whose height commands as subject all the vale.
    • Addison
      One side commands a view of the finest garden.
    • 1834, The Hobart Town Magazine (volume 2, page 323)
      [] they made considerable progress in the art of embalming the wild fruits of their native land, so that they might command cranberries and hindberries at all times and seasons.
  7. (intransitive, archaic) To have a view, as from a superior position.
    • Milton
      Far and wide his eye commands.
  8. (obsolete) To direct to come; to bestow.
    • Bible, Leviticus xxv. 21
      I will command my blessing upon you.



Derived termsEdit