n. & v.
n. 1 a the condition in which every part, unit, etc. is in its right place; tidiness (restored some semblance of order). b a usu. specified sequence, succession, etc. (alphabetical order; the order of events). 2 (in sing. or pl.) an authoritative command, direction, instruction, etc. (only obeying orders; gave orders for it to be done; the judge made an order). 3 a state of peaceful harmony under a constituted authority (order was restored; law and order). 4 (esp. in pl.) a social class, rank, etc., constituting a distinct group in society (the lower orders; the order of baronets). 5 a kind; a sort (talents of a high order). 6 a a usu. written direction to a manufacturer, tradesman, waiter, etc. to supply something. b the quantity of goods etc. supplied. 7 the constitution or nature of the world, society, etc. (the moral order; the order of things). 8 Biol. a taxonomic rank below a class and above a family. 9 (esp. Order) a fraternity of monks and friars, or formerly of knights, bound by a common rule of life (the Franciscan order; the order of Templars). 10 a any of the grades of the Christian ministry. b (in pl.) the status of a member of the clergy (Anglican orders). 11 a any of the five classical styles of architecture (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan, and Composite) based on the proportions of columns, amount of decoration, etc. b any style or mode of architecture subject to uniform established proportions. 12 (esp. Order) a a company of distinguished people instituted esp. by a sovereign to which appointments are made as an honour or reward (Order of the Garter; Order of Merit). b the insignia worn by members of an order. 13 Math. a a degree of complexity of a differential equation (equation of the first order). b the order of the highest derivative in the equation. 14 Math. a the size of a matrix. b the number of elements of a finite group. 15 Eccl. the stated form of divine service (the order of confirmation). 16 the principles of procedure, decorum, etc., accepted by a meeting, legislative assembly, etc. or enforced by its president. 17 Mil. a a style of dress and equipment (review order). b (prec. by the) the position of a company etc. with arms ordered (see order arms). 18 a Masonic or similar fraternity. 19 any of the nine grades of angelic beings (seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominations, principalities, powers, virtues, archangels, angels). 20 a pass admitting the bearer to a theatre, museum, private house, etc. free or cheap or as a privilege.
v.tr. 1 (usu. foll. by to + infin., or that + clause) command; bid; prescribe (ordered him to go; ordered that they should be sent). 2 command or direct (a person) to a specified destination (was ordered to Singapore; ordered them home). 3 direct a manufacturer, waiter, tradesman, etc. to supply (ordered a new suit; ordered dinner). 4 put in order; regulate (ordered her affairs). 5 (of God, fate, etc.) ordain (fate ordered it otherwise). 6 US command (a thing) done or (a person) dealt with (ordered it settled; ordered him expelled). by order according to the proper authority. holy orders the status of a member of the clergy, esp. the grades of bishop, priest, and deacon. in bad (or good etc.) order not working (or working properly etc.). in order 1 one after another according to some principle. 2 ready or fit for use. 3 according to the rules (of procedure at a meeting etc.). in order that with the intention; so that. in order to with the purpose of doing; with a view to. keep order enforce orderly behaviour. made to order 1 made according to individual requirements, measurements, etc. (opp. ready-made). 2 exactly what is wanted. minor orders RC Ch. hist. the grades of members of the clergy below that of deacon. not in order not working properly. of (or in or on) the order of 1 approximately. 2 having the order of magnitude specified by (of the order of one in a million). on order (of goods etc.) ordered but not yet received. order about 1 dominate; command officiously. 2 send hither and thither. order arms Mil. hold a rifle with its butt on the ground close to one's right side. order book 1 a book in which a tradesman enters orders. 2 the level of incoming orders. order-form a printed form in which details are entered by a customer. Order in Council Brit. a sovereign's order on an administrative matter given by the advice of the Privy Council. Order of the Bath (or Garter or Merit) each of several honours conferred by the sovereign for services etc. to the State. order of the day 1 the prevailing state of things. 2 a principal topic of action or a procedure decided upon. 3 business set down for treatment; a programme. order of magnitude a class in a system of classification determined by size, usu. by powers of 10. Order! Order! Parl. a call for silence or calm, esp. by the Speaker of the House of Commons. order-paper esp. Parl. a written or printed order of the day; an agenda. order to view a house-agent's request for a client to be allowed to inspect premises. out of order 1 not working properly. 2 not according to the rules (of a meeting, organization, etc.). take orders 1 accept commissions. 2 accept and carry out commands. 3 (also take holy orders) be ordained. orderer n.
[ ME f. OF ordre f. L ordo ordinis row, array, degree, command, etc. ]