Origin of command

1250–1300; (v.) Middle English coma(u)nden < Anglo-French com(m)a(u)nder, Old French comander < Medieval Latin commandāre, equivalent to Latin com- com- + mandāre to entrust, order (cf. commend); (noun) late Middle English comma(u)nde < Anglo-French, Old French, noun derivative of the v.
Related formscommand·a·ble, adjectivepre·com·mand, noun, verbun·com·mand·ed, adjectivewell-com·mand·ed, adjective

Synonyms for command

Synonym study

1. See direct. 3. See rule.

Antonyms for command

1, 7. obey.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for command

Contemporary Examples of command

Historical Examples of command

  • He threw himself against the rock and pushed with all the strength he could command.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • This satisfied him, for he cared nothing for the attachment of those under his command.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Great credit is also due to the second in command, and to every member of the party.

  • He could not even tell her that it was at Hope's command he sought her.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • I asked her many questions before I could command attention.

British Dictionary definitions for command



(when tr, may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to order, require, or compel
to have or be in control or authority over (a person, situation, etc)
(tr) to have knowledge or use ofhe commands the language
(tr) to receive as due or because of merithis nature commands respect
to dominate (a view, etc) as from a height


an order; mandate
the act of commanding
the power or right to command
the exercise of the power to command
ability or knowledge; controla command of French
mainly military the jurisdiction of a commander
a military unit or units commanding a specific area or function, as in the RAF
  1. an invitation from the monarch
  2. (as modifier)a command performance
computing a word or phrase that can be selected from a menu or typed after a prompt in order to carry out an action

Word Origin for command

C13: from Old French commander, from Latin com- (intensive) + mandāre to entrust, enjoin, command



any of the three main branches of the Canadian military forcesAir Command
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

Word Origin and History for command

c.1300, from Old French comander "to order, enjoin, entrust" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *commandare, from Latin commendare "to recommend, entrust to" (see commend), altered by influence of Latin mandare "to commit, entrust" (see mandate (n.)). Replaced Old English bebeodan. Related: Commanded; commanding.


c.1400, "order, command," from Old French comand (14c.), from comander (see command (v.)). Meaning "control, authority" is from mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with command


In addition to the idiom beginning with command

  • command performance

also see:

  • have a good command
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.