Meaning of ORDER in English

I. ˈȯrdər, ˈȯ(ə)də(r noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle French ordre, order, from Old French ordene, ordne, ordre, from Medieval Latin & Latin; Medieval Latin ordin-, ordo order (in ecclesiastical senses), from Latin (in other senses); akin to Latin ordiri to lay the warp, begin to weave, begin, and perhaps to Greek arariskein to fit together, fasten, suit — more at arm



(1) : one of the nine grades of angels in medieval theology ; also : an analogous class of supernatural beings

an order of spirits who abuse and persecute those they possess — Ralph Linton

(2) sometimes capitalized : any of the several grades of the Christian ministry — see major order , minor order

(3) orders plural : the office and dignity of a person in the Christian ministry

in deacon's orders

(4) : ordination — usually used in plural

received orders

(5) often capitalized : a ritually prescribed form of service (as for the administration of a sacrament)

the order of baptism


(1) : a religious body typically an aggregate of separate communities living under a distinctive rule, discipline, or constitution : a monastic brotherhood or society

(2) : any of several knightly fraternities bound by a discipline both religious and military and typically originating in the era of the crusades

(3) : a society patterned on the knightly fraternities of the middle ages but typically founded by a sovereign, a prince, or a national legislature for the conferring of honorary distinction

(4) : the badge, medal, or other insignia of such a society ; also : a military decoration for bravery or distinguished service

(5) : a fraternal society or other association of private character

the Masonic Order

the Order of Gregg Artists is the largest and best-known shorthand organization in the world — Florence E. Ulrich

a secret order of conspirators


(1) : one of the classes comprising a hierarchical or stratified society : a social class or grouping

there are two main orders, the natural aristocracy and the common people — C.J.Friedrich

— often used in the phrases higher orders, lower orders

the lower orders of whites were all but beyond the reach of democracy — Van Wyck Brooks

(2) : a narrowly delimited group of persons having a common interest and forming a distinct class by profession, special privileges, or other common interests

the first two orders, the clergy and the nobility — D.W.S.Lidderdale

the order of baronets

(3) : the totality of social, political, and cultural arrangements prevailing in a particular place and time : a particular sociopolitical system

inclined to oppose radical changes in the established order — American Guide Series: Maine

symbols of the decaying orders they headed — Claude Pepper

the ceremonies are part of the traditional order — British Book News


(1) archaic : a rank, row, or series of objects

(2) : level or degree of importance, quality, or value : rank

a world power of the first order — S.L.Sharp

the productions booked for these communities were of a low order — American Guide Series: Michigan

realism of the highest order — A.L.Guérard

(3) : a category, type, class, or kind of thing of distinctive character or rank

there is an order or mind which is perpetually modern — Edith Hamilton

cultivated after his fashion the order of verse — Times Literary Supplement

in the same order of ideas — O.G.Frazer

in emergencies of this order — R.B.Westerfield

revolutions are a different order of events — John Strachey

presents a problem of the severest order — J.B.Gallagher


(1) : a style of building

(2) : a type of column and entablature that with its forms, proportions, and mode of decoration is the unit of a style

Corinthian order

Doric order

(3) : a columnar treatment based on the classic orders


(1) : arrangement of objects in position or of events in time

(2) : the number of times differentiation is applied successively

derivatives of higher order

(3) : the order of the highest order derivative in a differential equation

(4) : degree 11a, 11b

(5) : the number of rows and columns in a matrix

the order of a matrix with 2 rows and 3 columns is 2 by 3

(6) : order of magnitude 2


(1) : degree or grade in a series based on size or quantity

lines, of the order of one third of an inch in diameter — R.E.Coker

(2) : general or approximate size, quantity, or level of magnitude or a figure indicative thereof

a population of the order of 40,000 — W.G.East

all explosions were divided into two general types — low order and high — H.A.Holsinger

at a date of the order of 50,000 years ago — R.C.Murphy

the time period is of the order of a thousand years — A.N.Whitehead

h. : a category of taxonomic classification ranking above the family and below the class and in botany characteristically having a name ending in -ales (as Rosales) and often being made up of several families — see natural order

i. : position in a sequence of interference or diffraction phenomena

a grating spectrum of the third order


(1) : a sequential arrangement of mathematical elements

(2) : a degree, type, level, or rank within an order

a predicate of a higher order

k. : the broadest category in soil classification

zonal order

intrazonal order

l. : a class of consonants whose common characteristic is that they have the same place of articulation

the bilabials p, b, m belong to the same order



(1) : the manner in which one thing succeeds another : sequence or succession in space or time

let me tell of these events in their order

were issued in a strange order — Edward Sackville-West & Desmond Shawe-Taylor

(2) : sequence in respect of value, importance, or some other criterion

good to know the goods in their order — R.M.Hutchins

osmium, iridium and platinum in that order are the three heaviest metals known — W.R.Jones

necessary to establish some order of importance — G.P.Wibberley

the children came in proper order , first the oldest, then their juniors

(3) : the sequence of constituents as a device for conveying meaning (as in Cain [subject] killed [predicate] Abel [object])


(1) : the totality of arrangements composing some sphere of action or being : a system functioning according to some definite laws or rules

the contemporary economic order

our political order

should take the lead in reconstructing the social order — Paul Woodring

whose loyalty to the English order of things was suspect — American Guide Series: Michigan

also : a prevailing mode, style, or trend

the new order in literary criticism

(2) obsolete : customary mode of procedure : established usage

(3) : the customary, established, or prescribed mode of procedure in debate or other business (as of a deliberative or legislative body or a public meeting)

rose to a point of order

a book on the rules of order

(4) : the condition of being in conformity with such a mode of procedure — usually used in the phrases in order, out of order

your motion is out of order

the amendment was inconsistent with the resolution and hence out of order — Walter Goodman

(5) : the attentive, orderly, or decorous behavior or state appropriate to the conduct of deliberative or legislative business

will the meeting please come to order

— compare call to order


(1) : the manner in which something is ordered : arrangement , formation , array

the troops retired in good order

in his order of battle his center … was pushed forward — Tom Wintringham

(2) : regular or harmonious arrangement or disposition : system , pattern , method

there was a feminine order in the arrangement — Jean Stafford

a world whose lack of order … must inspire them with a certain fear — Herbert Read

the stuff of our lives is … a tangled web, yet in the end there is order — Havelock Ellis

(3) : a condition in which everything is so arranged as to play its proper part

a lover of order

values rank and station and order above other things in politics — R.G.F.Robinson

the sense of order we associate with the medieval world — Wallace Fowlie

(4) : the rule of law or proper authority : freedom from disturbance : public quiet

restore order in a lawless community

the victory of order … must be assured at all costs — Times Literary Supplement

(5) archaic : provision or disposition to achieve some end — usually used in the phrase take order

(6) : state or condition with regard to quality, functioning, or repair

a square grand piano in good order — D.D.Martin

found the equipment in the worst possible order

erect and maintain in good order a gate — Farmer's Weekly (South Africa)

(7) : a sound, proper, orderly, or functioning condition

the finances and plans of the … institute have been set in order — W.G.Penfield

the telephone is out of order

had his place put in order — Everett Lloyd

his passport is not in order

(8) : the condition of being proper, appropriate, or required by the circumstances — used in the phrases in order, out of order

this retraction is in order — Alexander MacDonald

your suggestion is completely out of order

technically, his conviction was in order — S.H.Adams

nominations for president are now in order

(9) : order arms

d. : a condition of the tobacco leaf in the curing process in which it contains sufficient moisture to be pliable and handled readily without breaking



(1) : a rule or regulation made by a competent authority

the Board of Aldermen will also be asked to adopt an order — Springfield (Massachusetts) Daily News

(2) : an authoritative mandate usually from a superior to a subordinate : injunction , instruction

refusal to recognize the authority of the emperor amounted to a refusal to take orders — Clyde Pharr

an executive order

under order to sail for home

(3) : a written or oral directive from a senior military or naval officer to a junior telling him what to do but giving him certain freedom of action in complying


(1) : a direction by which the payee or holder of negotiable paper prescribes to whom payment shall be made

(2) : a commission to purchase, sell, or supply goods : a direction in writing to furnish supplies

orders from the seven canners had been too small — Pacific Fisherman

engines built to the order of the Ministry of Supply — O.S.Nock

3. : a formal written authorization to deliver materials, to perform work, or to do both

c. : a direction or pass to give admittance (as to a building or entertainment)


(1) : a command or direction of a court

(2) : a direction of a judge or court entered in writing and not entered in a judgment or decree



(1) : the merchandise, goods, or items ordered as a purchase

should receive your order promptly — Sarah Taintor & Kate Monro

the order arrived in good condition

(2) : a serving of food ordered in a public eating place

bring me my order right away

one order of mashed potatoes

also : an oral or written direction to serve such food

the waitress will take your order now

b. : an assigned or requested undertaking

this is a large order , which would seem to require a much longer book — K.E.Poole

trying to move loose horses through snow was almost as tall an order — H.L.Davis

- in order that

- in order to

- on the order of

- to order

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order 1e: 1 Corinthian, 2 Doric, 3 Ionic


II. verb

( ordered ; ordered ; ordering -d(ə)riŋ ; orders )

Etymology: Middle English ordren, from ordre, n.

transitive verb



(1) : to arrange or dispose according to some plan or with reference to some end : put in a particular order : arrange in a series or sequence

orders the arts and sciences according to their value in his Christian system — H.O.Taylor

(2) archaic : to draw up in battle array : array , marshal

(3) : to put in order : make neat or orderly

ordered her dress — D.C.Peattie

b. : to manage by rule or regulation

ordered his affairs to the tempo of an earlier day — American Guide Series: Ind.

the marshal controlled and ordered the hall — Doris M. Stenton

unwilling and unable to order their economy in effective fashion — E.S.Furniss b. 1918

2. : to admit to holy orders


a. : to give orders to : command

ordered the troops to advance

: require or direct (something) to be done

dissolving the Diet and ordering new elections — F.A.Ogg & Harold Zink

b. : to ordain by fate : destine

it was so ordered of God

c. : to command to go or come to a specified place

was ordered to a distant post

ordered home for misbehavior

d. : to give an order for : secure by an order

having forgotten to order his chauffeur — Cleveland Amory

order a meal

order groceries

e. : to give a prescription of : prescribe

the doctor ordered rest and exercise

4. dialect chiefly England

a. : to take a particular course with : deal with

b. : to make ready : prepare

c. : to bring (a person) into order

5. : to bring (tobacco leaf) into order

intransitive verb

1. : to bring about order : regulate , direct

a renascence of the spirit that orders and controls — H.G.Wells


a. : to issue commands : command

your turn to order next week

b. : to give or place an order

be sure to order before it's too late

3. : to become the object of an order

slacks are ordering with renewed strength — Women's Wear Daily


order , arrange , marshal , organize , systematize , methodize can mean to put (a number of things) in their proper places or into a fit place, especially in an interrelation or organization. order in the sense of to put in a given sequence is somewhat archaic; in more general current use it means to put into an interrelationship thought of as reasoned or effective or to dispose so that system is achieved or confusion or friction is eliminated

the ceremony is not well ordered; in fact there is here no single ceremony but a group of separate little rituals — C.L.Jones

life as it came to him without conscious ordering — Virginia Woolf

free to order their affairs as they choose — W.L.Sperry

trees, lawns, terraces, rock gardens, paved walks, and many benches, all cleverly ordered in harmonious composition — American Guide Series: New York City

arrange is usually used to apply to a putting of things in a proper, fit, or pleasing sequence or relationship, often by straightening up or adjusting to fixed circumstantial things, sometimes, however, suggesting contrivance or manipulation of things to a given end

arrange the articles on a desk

each of us arranges the world according to his own notion of the fitness of things — Joseph Conrad

made his bed and arranged his room — Willa Cather

the distressingly difficult task of arranging a peaceful world — K.F.Mather

arrange things so that Father could go to Santa Fe — Mary Austin

marshal implies an assembling and arranging (of things, or sometimes diverse elements of a thing) especially in preparation for or to facilitate a particular move or operation

resources of the government have been marshaled in support of science — A.T.Waterman

marshals his facts and arguments with lucidity and detachment — Times Literary Supplement

marshaled the evidence in his client's behalf — H.D.Hazeltine

marshal a case before going into court

organize implies an arrangement in which several or many parts function in smooth interrelation

our most successful historians … can organize their materials clearly and cogently — W.G.Carleton

man, as a highly organized whole — H.J.Muller

organized the hospital work of the Crimean war — G.B.Shaw

the daily routine was gradually organized after a fashion — André Maurois

systematize implies arrangement according to a predetermined scheme

if grammar was to become a rational science, it had to systematize itself through principles of logic — H.O.Taylor

everything was systematized to an extraordinary extent. There was a way for doing everything, or rather sixteen, or thirty-six, or some other consecrated number of ways, each distinct and defined and each with a name — Laurence Binyon

methodize differs from systematize in suggesting more the imposition of orderly procedure than a fixed scheme

modern criticism has developed a number of specialized procedures of its own and methodized them, sometimes on the analogy of scientific procedure — S.E.Hyman

Synonym: see in addition command .

III. noun

1. : the number of elements in a finite mathematical group

2. : a class of mutually exclusive linguistic forms any one of which may occur in a fixed definable position in the permitted sequence of items forming a word

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.