Definition of command in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəˈmand/


1 [reporting verb] Give an authoritative order: [with object and infinitive]: a gruff voice commanded us to enter [with direct speech]: “Stop arguing!” he commanded [with clause]: he commanded that work should cease [with object]: my mother commands my presence
More example sentences
  • ‘In here, men,’ a gruff voice commanded as the feet drew nearer.
  • ‘Bring him to me,’ she commanded, her voice authoritative and unwavering.
  • ‘Give the phone back to my mother,’ she commanded, her voice like steel.
order, tell, direct, instruct, call on, require
literary bid
1.1 [with object] Military Have authority over; be in charge of (a unit): he commanded a battalion at Normandy
More example sentences
  • He then commanded a unit in Miami, charged with conducting operations against Communist Cuba.
  • John fought in Vietnam and commanded a helicopter unit in Somalia.
  • He commanded the unit for six years and was its honorary colonel twice.
1.2 [with object] Dominate (a strategic position) from a superior height: the two castles commanded the harbor
More example sentences
  • The projecting balconies of the nine-storeyed palace gracefully rises to a mountain height, commanding a bird's view of the town.
  • Rhum is famous not just as a National Nature Reserve but also for the splendid red sandstone Kinloch Castle, which commands sensational views from its steadfast position at the head of Loch Scresort.
  • An excursion to the Castle, a fortress that commands the road to Salzburg costs £15.
be in charge of, be in command of, be the leader of;
head, lead, control, direct, manage, supervise, oversee
informal head up
1.3 [with object] archaic Control or restrain (oneself or one’s feelings): he commanded himself with an effort
More example sentences
  • He proves that he holds a strong command over his desires, exercises sound self-control, and enjoys the taste of disciplinary life.
  • His command over his body language is as strong as his control over the fighters he leads.
  • We have poor command over our image in the media.
2 [with object] Be in a strong enough position to have or secure (something): no party commanded a majority a moral force that commanded respect
More example sentences
  • This is evidence that not only are people buying homes, but that demand in the market is strong enough to command premium asking prices.
  • Items that are hard to find in the original labeled box, that are in unused condition and in boxes, and that are in fine condition commanded the strongest prices.
  • The political leader of the opposition party which commands the majority in the Parliament, usually holds the post of Opposition Leader.
receive, get, gain, secure


1An authoritative order: it’s unlikely they’ll obey your commands
More example sentences
  • The soldiers obeyed his command because he had ordered them to.
  • People merely obey arbitrary commands and orders, but they respond quickly and usually give extra effort for leaders who genuinely care for them.
  • It wasn't a question it was a command which Pearl quickly obeyed.
order, instruction, directive, direction, commandment, injunction, decree, edict, demand, stipulation, requirement, exhortation, bidding, request
1.1 Computing An instruction or signal that causes a computer to perform one of its basic functions.
Example sentences
  • The custom commands are simply instructions you speak to the computer and then it performs the designated task.
  • It's a safe way to execute commands on remote computers.
  • You can also use commands to change the order of word fields - for example, make the first word in a line, the fourth - and the fourth word, the first.
1.2Authority, especially over armed forces: an officer took command who’s in command? we will have nearly thirty thousand people under our command
More example sentences
  • The ship's arrival posed a problem to the British authorities, then in command of the Cape.
  • ‘Russell has a natural energy and authority, and he took command of that ship from the beginning’.
  • His uncle was stationed in command of the imperial naval base at Misenum, on the north-west extremity of the Bay of Naples.
authority, control, charge, power, direction, dominion, guidance;
leadership, rule, government, management, supervision, jurisdiction
1.3 [in singular] The ability to use or control something: he had a brilliant command of English
More example sentences
  • Tonight we saw that he has an equal command over domestic issues.
  • Once you have a command over these combinations, you can always improvise and go beyond that depending on your creativity.
  • First, one must have a firm command over classical Arabic language including its vocabulary, grammar, metaphors, and idioms.
knowledge, mastery, grasp, comprehension, understanding
1.4 [treated as singular or plural] Military A group of officers exercising control over a particular group or operation.
Example sentences
  • Strategic and operational command used tactical forces and assets and created favorable conditions for their use.
  • The Army needs competent, confident, adaptive thinkers to exercise battle command.
  • The military's southern command said an infantry brigade has been sent to the site to assist the citizens.
1.5 Military A body of troops or a district under the control of a particular officer.
Example sentences
  • It will also be necessary to do some adjustments to the structure of commands of the military districts and fronts.
  • Despite the diverse missions of the District's many commands, virtually all of them share one thing in common.
  • Across the command, deployment orders were flowing.


at someone's command

At someone’s disposal; available: he had at his command a vast number of ready-made phrases
More example sentences
  • With all the modern methods of waste disposal at our command, it should not be difficult to prevent pollution of lakes.
  • You can do that when you have a powerful government at your command.
  • Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.


Middle English: from Old French comander 'to command', from late Latin commandare, from com- (expressing intensive force) + mandare 'commit, command'. Compare with commend.

Words that rhyme with command

demand, remand

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: com·mand

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