Definition of countermand in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkoun(t)ərˌmand/
Pronunciation: /ˌkoun(t)ərˈmand/


[with object]
1Revoke (an order): an order to arrest the strike leaders had been countermanded
More example sentences
  • Speer moved against Hitler by countermanding his orders and other forms of sabotage.
  • He ordered the police to open fire on the demonstrators but the party's frightened Politburo countermanded the order.
  • This put the newspaper out of business until the order was countermanded.
1.1Revoke an order issued by (another person): he was already countermanding her
More example sentences
  • Raven countermanded me and ordered the helm hard over while lowering the sail, and the hands, afraid of her, did what she said.
  • He has apparently called for support from all over the country to make a stand against the Americans, and the Premier is trying to countermand him.
  • Highly trained specialists, they relied on their professional ethics to help manage the tricky business of judging and sometimes countermanding the clients who paid the bills.
1.2Declare (a vote or election) invalid: the election commission has countermanded voting on the grounds of intimidation
More example sentences
  • The president demanded that the EC observer and state Chief Electoral Officer countermand the elections to stop the declaration of results tomorrow.
  • The three aspirants are already out of the race as elections in their constituencies had been countermanded.
  • The last time elections were held there, dozens of people were killed, requiring polls to be countermanded and new ones ordered.


An order revoking a previous one: I forthwith mounted, and went off, lest I should receive a countermand
More example sentences
  • Schumann is represented by his Romances, originally for oboe, published also for clarinet, despite the composer's express countermand.
  • As a collection of texts, Scripture is capable of holding both a point and its countermand.
  • However, we have seen that countermand must be explicit and generally given to the branch of the bank where the account is kept.


Late Middle English: from Old French contremander (verb), contremand (noun), from medieval Latin contramandare, from contra- 'against' + mandare 'to order'.

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Syllabification: coun·ter·mand

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