Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[verb koun-ter-mand, -mahnd, koun-ter-mand, -mahnd; noun koun-ter-mand, -mahnd] /verb ˌkaʊn tərˈmænd, -ˈmɑnd, ˈkaʊn tərˌmænd, -ˌmɑnd; noun ˈkaʊn tərˌmænd, -ˌmɑnd/
verb (used with object)
to revoke or cancel (a command, order, etc.).
to recall or stop by a contrary order.
a command, order, etc., revoking a previous one.
Origin of countermand
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English countermaunden < Anglo-French countermander < Middle French contremander, equivalent to contre- counter- + mander to command < Latin mandāre; see mandate
Related forms
countermandable, adjective
uncountermandable, adjective
uncountermanded, adjective
1. rescind, abrogate, overrule, recall. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for countermand
Historical Examples
  • I told thee my reasons for not going in search of a letter of countermand.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • There is no power in France that can countermand the execution of a sentence of the law.

  • Washington received them courteously, but did not consent to countermand the march.

    Albert Gallatin John Austin Stevens
  • Marshall and Bradford yielded, and consented to countermand the order of rendezvous.

    Albert Gallatin John Austin Stevens
  • Fears of a countermand were said to have hastened their departure.

    Sir Walter Ralegh William Stebbing
  • I will countermand the order for an immediate attack; that will give me time to arrange.

    Wood Magic

    Richard Jefferies
  • A wretched sort of love that, which one can order or countermand at will!

  • Of course you are going to countermand the order for the hat that, after all, you do not really need.

    The Carter Girls Nell Speed
  • Surely you don't wish me to countermand any order of yours to a servant?

    The Second Mrs. Tanqueray

    Sir Arthur Wing Pinero
  • There is a word that makes this world tremble; and the Pope cannot countermand it.

British Dictionary definitions for countermand


verb (transitive) (ˌkaʊntəˈmɑːnd)
to revoke or cancel (a command, order, etc)
to order (forces, etc) to return or retreat; recall
noun (ˈkaʊntəˌmɑːnd)
a command revoking another
Word Origin
C15: from Old French contremander, from contre-counter- + mander to command, from Latin mandāre; see mandate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for countermand

early 15c., from Old French contremander "reverse an order or command" (13c.), from contre- "against" (see contra-) + mander, from Latin mandare "to order" (see mandate (n.)). Related: Countermanded; countermanding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for countermand

Word Value for countermand

Scrabble Words With Friends