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

  • n. A person who commands, especially a commanding officer.
  • n. A commissioned rank in the U.S. Navy or Coast Guard that is above lieutenant commander and below captain.
  • n. One who holds this rank.
  • n. The chief commissioned officer of a military unit regardless of his or her rank.
  • n. An officer in some knightly or fraternal orders.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One who exercises control and direction of a military or naval organization.
  • n. A naval officer whose rank is above that of a lieutenant commander and below that of captain.
  • n. One who exercises control and direction over a group of persons.
  • n. A designation or rank in certain non-military organizations such as NASA and various police forces.
  • n. The chief officer of a commandry.
  • n. A heavy beetle or wooden mallet, used in paving, in sail lofts, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A chief; one who has supreme authority; a leader; the chief officer of an army, or of any division of it.
  • n. An officer who ranks next below a captain, -- ranking with a lieutenant colonel in the army.
  • n. The chief officer of a commandery.
  • n. A heavy beetle or wooden mallet, used in paving, in sail lofts, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who has the authority or power to command or order; especially, a military leader; the chief officer of an army or of any division of it.
  • n. Hence One who has control, in any sense.
  • n. Specifically In the British and United States navies, an officer next in rank below a captain and above a lieutenant or a lieutenant-commander.
  • n. The chief officer of a commandery in the medieval orders of Knights Hospitallers, Templars, etc. See commandery, 2 .
  • n. A similar officer in certain secret orders, as in the American order of Knights Templars.
  • n. A member of a higher class in a modern honorary order.
  • n. A heavy beetle or wooden mallet used in paving, or by sailmakers and riggers.
  • n. In surgery, a box or cradle for incasing an injured limb.
  • n. In hat-making, a string which is pressed down over a conical hat while it is on the block, to bring it to the required cylindrical form.
  • n. In medieval fortification, same as cavalier, 5.
  • n. A member of the highest class, or one of the highest classes, of some modern honorary orders. See order. Synonyms Leader, Head, etc. See chief.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an officer in command of a military unit
  • n. an officer in the airforce
  • n. a commissioned naval officer who ranks above a lieutenant commander and below a captain
  • n. someone in an official position of authority who can command or control others


command +‎ -er (Wiktionary)


  • But the title commander in chief seems to fit John McCain, doesn't it?

    CNN Transcript Jan 30, 2008

  • We ` re talking about somebody who ` s going to have the title commander in chief.

    CNN Transcript Jul 16, 2007

  • We have doubled the amount of money and the number of projects we are doing this year in what I call the commander emergency-response program.

    The Hornet’s Nest

  • She has made the case that Barack Obama has not passed what they call commander in chief test, that he doesn't have enough experience, that he has not been involved in the kinds of things that are necessary to make some of the tough decisions, at least that's what Senator Clinton has argued.

    CNN Transcript Mar 16, 2008

  • He was what they call the commander in chief Pacific.

    The Nightingale's Song

  • However, when such a commander is also empowered to convene courts-martial and has only an official interest in the disposition of the case, it is customary for him to direct an officer of his command to make a preliminary inquiry into the suspected offense and to prefer appropriate charges if the facts shown by such inquiry should warrant the preferring of charges.


  • A Nazi SS commander is promoted to oversee the installation and operation of a new concentration camp in Romania.

    Rabid Reads: "The Keep" by F. Paul Wilson

  • Tunnell, the brigade commander, is not implicated in the shootings.

    Brigade's strategy: 'Strike and destroy'

  • At the same time, Wardak, a former mujaheddin commander, said his troops are hampered by a lack of "enablers," such as enough aircraft support, medevac capability and intelligence-gathering technology, as well as firepower to conduct more independent operations.

    U.S. military, civilian officials claim progress in Afghan war

  • The constant tension faced by a military commander is that he must have two primary and mutually contradictory goals, the first to win battles, the second to preserve the effectiveness of his unit.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » “Pour encourager les autres”


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