from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To direct with authority; give orders to.
  • intransitive verb To have control or authority over; rule.
  • intransitive verb To have at one's disposal.
  • intransitive verb To deserve and receive as due; exact.
  • intransitive verb To exercise dominating, authoritative influence over.
  • intransitive verb To dominate by physical position; overlook.
  • intransitive verb To give orders.
  • intransitive verb To exercise authority or control as or as if one is a commander.
  • noun The act of commanding.
  • noun An order given with authority.
  • noun Computers A signal that initiates an operation defined by an instruction.
  • noun The authority to command.
  • noun Possession and exercise of the authority to command.
  • noun Ability to control or use; mastery.
  • noun Dominance by location; extent of view.
  • noun The jurisdiction of a commander.
  • noun A military unit, post, district, or region under the control of one officer.
  • noun A unit of the US Air Force that is larger than an air force.
  • adjective Of, relating to, or constituting a command.
  • adjective Done or performed in response to a command.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In whist and bridge, the best card of a suit, usually of one which the adversaries are trying to establish.
  • To order or direct with authority; give an order or orders to; require obedience of; lay injunction upon; order; charge: with a person as direct object.
  • Specifically To have or to exercise supreme power or authority, especially military or naval authority, over; have under direction or control; determine the actions, use, or course of: as, to command an army or a ship.
  • To require with authority; demand; order; enjoin: with a thing as direct object: as, he commanded silence.
  • To have within the range of one's (its) power or within the sphere of influence; dominate through ability, resources, position, etc., often specifically through military power or position; hence, have within the range of the eye; overlook.
  • To bestow by exercise of controlling power.
  • To exact, compel, or secure by moral influence; challenge; claim: as, a good magistrate commands the respect and affections of the people.
  • To have at one's disposal and service.
  • To intrust; commit; commend. See commend.
  • Synonyms To bid, govern, rule, control. See enjoin.
  • To act as or have the authority of a commander.
  • To exercise influence or power.
  • To be in a superior or commanding position.
  • noun The right or authority to order, control, or dispose of; the right to be obeyed or to compel obedience: as, to have command of an army.
  • noun Possession of controlling authority, force, or capacity; power of control, direction, or disposal; mastery: as, he had command of the situation; England has long held command of the sea; a good command of language.
  • noun A position of chief authority; a position involving the right or power to order or control: as, General Smith was placed in command.
  • noun The act of commanding; exercise of authority or influence.
  • noun The thing commanded or ordered; a commandment; a mandate; an order; word of command.
  • noun A body of troops, or any naval or military force, under the control of a particular officer.
  • noun Dominating situation; range of control or oversight; hence, extent of view or outlook.
  • noun In fortification, the height of the top of a parapet above the plane of its site, or above another work.
  • noun Synonyms and Sway, rule, authority.
  • noun Injunction, charge, direction, behest, bidding, requisition.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To have or to exercise direct authority; to govern; to sway; to influence; to give an order or orders.
  • intransitive verb To have a view, as from a superior position.
  • noun An authoritative order requiring obedience; a mandate; an injunction.
  • noun The possession or exercise of authority.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English commaunden, from Old French comander, from Late Latin commandāre : Latin com-, intensive pref.; see com– + Latin mandāre, to entrust; see man- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word command.


  • Most browsers have a command to enlarge text – on my Mac Firefox, I just hit command-+. mrg replied to comment from Wayne

    More creationist misconceptions about the eye - The Panda's Thumb 2010

  • This example uses the @command decorator to declare that the function is a django-boss command.

    Softpedia - Windows - All 2010

  • * Send command to smtp server function server_send ($command, $private_info = false) fputs ($this - > socket, $command. "\r\n"); 2009

  • * Send command to smtp server function server_send ($command, $private_info = false) fputs ($this - > socket, $command. "\r\n"); 2009

  • He was in command from the outset Monday, despite the miserable conditions. 2008

  • Having her 2nd in command is too scary for me. bernice

    Majority of Dems want Clinton to be V.P. 2008

  • But Obama couldn't be comfortable feeling that his canny second in command is quietly engineering a comeback. rose, texas

    Carter says unity ticket would be 'worst mistake' 2008

  • The slander about John Kerry's Purple Hearts and courage in command is fallacious at best and spuriously shameful.

    Easter Lemming Liberal News 2007

  • The slander about John Kerry's Purple Hearts and courage in command is fallacious at best and spuriously shameful.

    Archive 2007-11-01 2007

  • Except for low-level grunts caught on tape and one top figure (who says not without justification that she's the scapegoat), no one in command is being punished.

    04/30/2005 2005


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.