Meaning of COMMAND in English

I. kə-ˈmand verb

Etymology: Middle English comanden, from Anglo-French cumander, from Vulgar Latin * commandare, alteration of Latin commendare to commit to one's charge — more at commend

Date: 14th century

transitive verb

1. : to direct authoritatively : order

2. : to exercise a dominating influence over : have command of: as

a. : to have at one's immediate disposal

command s many resources

b. : to demand or receive as one's due

command s a high fee

c. : to overlook or dominate from or as if from a strategic position

a hill that command s the city

d. : to have military command of as senior officer

command a regiment

3. obsolete : to order or request to be given

intransitive verb

1. : to have or exercise direct authority : govern

2. : to give orders

3. : to be commander

4. : to dominate as if from an elevated place

• com·mand·able -ˈman-də-bəl adjective


command , order , bid , enjoin , direct , instruct , charge mean to issue orders. command and order imply authority and usually some degree of formality and impersonality. command stresses official exercise of authority

a general commanding troops

order may suggest peremptory or arbitrary exercise

ordered his employees about like slaves

bid suggests giving orders peremptorily (as to children or servants)

she bade him be seated

enjoin implies giving an order or direction authoritatively and urgently and often with admonition or solicitude

a sign enjoining patrons to be quiet

direct and instruct both connote expectation of obedience and usually concern specific points of procedure or method, instruct sometimes implying greater explicitness or formality

directed her assistant to hold all calls

the judge instructed the jury to ignore the remark

charge adds to enjoin an implication of imposing as a duty or responsibility

charged by the President with a secret mission

II. noun

Date: 15th century


a. : an order given

b. : a signal that actuates a device (as a control mechanism in a spacecraft or one step in a computer) ; also : the activation of a device by means of such a signal


a. : the ability to control : mastery

b. : the authority or right to command

the officer in command


(1) : the power to dominate

(2) : scope of vision

d. : facility in use

a good command of French

e. : control 1d

a pitcher with good command of his curveball

3. : the act of commanding

4. : the personnel, area, or organization under a commander ; specifically : a unit of the United States Air Force higher than an air force

5. : a position of highest usually military authority

Synonyms: see power

III. adjective

Date: 1826

: done on command or request

a command performance

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.