verb (used with object)

  1. to direct with specific authority or prerogative; order: The captain commanded his men to attack.
  2. to require authoritatively; demand: She commanded silence.
  3. to have or exercise authority or control over; be master of; have at one’s bidding or disposal: The Pharaoh commanded 10,000 slaves.
  4. to deserve and receive (respect, sympathy, attention, etc.): He commands much respect for his attitude.
  5. to dominate by reason of location; overlook: The hill commands the sea.
  6. to have authority over and responsibility for (a military or naval unit or installation); be in charge of.

verb (used without object)

  1. to issue an order or orders.
  2. to be in charge; have authority.
  3. to occupy a dominating position; look down upon or over a body of water, region, etc.


  1. the act of commanding or ordering.
  2. an order given by one in authority: The colonel gave the command to attack.
  3. Military.
    1. an order in prescribed words, usually given in a loud voice to troops at close-order drill: The command was “Right shoulder arms!”
    2. the order of execution or the second part of any two-part close-order drill command, as face in Right face!
    3. (initial capital letter)a principal component of the U.S. Air Force: Strategic Air Command.
    4. a body of troops or a station, ship, etc., under a commander.
  4. the possession or exercise of controlling authority: a lieutenant in command of a platoon.
  5. expertise; mastery: He has a command of French, Russian, and German.
  6. British. a royal order.
  7. power of dominating a region by reason of location; extent of view or outlook: the command of the valley from the hill.
  8. Computers.
    1. an electric impulse, signal, or set of signals for initiating an operation in a computer.
    2. a character, symbol, or item of information for instructing a computer to perform a specific task.
    3. a single instruction.


  1. of, relating to, or for use in the exercise of command: a command car; command post.
  2. of or relating to a commander: a command decision.
  3. ordered by a sovereign, as if by a sovereign, or by the exigencies of a situation: a command performance.


  1. (when tr, may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to order, require, or compel
  2. to have or be in control or authority over (a person, situation, etc)
  3. (tr) to have knowledge or use ofhe commands the language
  4. (tr) to receive as due or because of merithis nature commands respect
  5. to dominate (a view, etc) as from a height


  1. an order; mandate
  2. the act of commanding
  3. the power or right to command
  4. the exercise of the power to command
  5. ability or knowledge; controla command of French
  6. mainly military the jurisdiction of a commander
  7. a military unit or units commanding a specific area or function, as in the RAF
  8. British
    1. an invitation from the monarch
    2. (as modifier)a command performance
  9. computing a word or phrase that can be selected from a menu or typed after a prompt in order to carry out an action


  1. any of the three main branches of the Canadian military forcesAir Command

v.c.1300, from Old French comander “to order, enjoin, entrust” (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *commandare, from Latin commendare “to recommend, entrust to” (see commend), altered by influence of Latin mandare “to commit, entrust” (see mandate (n.)). Replaced Old English bebeodan. Related: Commanded; commanding. n.c.1400, “order, command,” from Old French comand (14c.), from comander (see command (v.)). Meaning “control, authority” is from mid-15c. In addition to the idiom beginning with command

  • command performance
  • also see:

  • have a good command
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