Definition of countermand in English:


Syllabification: coun·ter·mand
Pronunciation: /ˌkountərˈmand, ˈkountərˌmand


[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.


Back to top  
  • 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'.

More definitions of countermand

Definition of countermand in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmālˌsträm
a powerful whirlpool in the sea