View synonyms for command


[ kuh-mand, -mahnd ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to direct with specific authority or prerogative; order:

    The captain commanded his men to attack.

    Synonyms: prescribe, order, instruct, enjoin, direct, charge, bid

    Antonyms: obey

  2. to require authoritatively; demand:

    She commanded silence.

  3. to have or exercise authority or control over; be master of; have at one's bidding or disposal:

    The Pharaoh commanded 10,000 slaves.

    Synonyms: oversee, manage, rule, lead, govern, control

  4. to deserve and receive (respect, sympathy, attention, etc.):

    He commands much respect for his attitude.

    Synonyms: exact, claim, compel

  5. to dominate by reason of location; overlook:

    The hill commands the sea.

  6. to have authority over and responsibility for (a military or naval unit or installation); be in charge of.

verb (used without object)

  1. to issue an order or orders.
  2. to be in charge; have authority.
  3. to occupy a dominating position; look down upon or over a body of water, region, etc.


  1. the act of commanding or ordering.

    Synonyms: injunction, bidding, direction, instruction, mandate, charge

  2. an order given by one in authority:

    The colonel gave the command to attack.

  3. Military.
    1. an order in prescribed words, usually given in a loud voice to troops at close-order drill:

      The command was “Right shoulder arms!”

    2. the order of execution or the second part of any two-part close-order drill command, as face in Right face!
    3. Command, a principal component of the U.S. Air Force:

      Strategic Air Command.

    4. a body of troops or a station, ship, etc., under a commander.
  4. the possession or exercise of controlling authority:

    a lieutenant in command of a platoon.

    Synonyms: understanding, knowledge, grasp, comprehension, proficiency, domination, sway, ascendancy, control, charge, authority

  5. He has a command of French, Russian, and German.

  6. British. a royal order.
  7. power of dominating a region by reason of location; extent of view or outlook:

    the command of the valley from the hill.

  8. Computers.
    1. an electric impulse, signal, or set of signals for initiating an operation in a computer.
    2. a character, symbol, or item of information for instructing a computer to perform a specific task.
    3. a single instruction.


  1. of, relating to, or for use in the exercise of command: command post.

    a command car;

    command post.

  2. of or relating to a commander:

    a command decision.

  3. ordered by a sovereign, as if by a sovereign, or by the exigencies of a situation:

    a command performance.



/ kəˈmɑːnd /


  1. when tr, may take a clause as object or an infinitive to order, require, or compel
  2. to have or be in control or authority over (a person, situation, etc)
  3. tr to have knowledge or use of

    he commands the language

  4. tr to receive as due or because of merit

    his nature commands respect

  5. to dominate (a view, etc) as from a height
“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


  1. an order; mandate
  2. the act of commanding
  3. the power or right to command
  4. the exercise of the power to command
  5. ability or knowledge; control

    a command of French

  6. military the jurisdiction of a commander
  7. 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

  8. computing a word or phrase that can be selected from a menu or typed after a prompt in order to carry out an action
“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



/ kəˈmɑːnd /


  1. any of the three main branches of the Canadian military forces

    Air 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
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Other Words From

  • commanda·ble adjective
  • precom·mand noun verb
  • uncom·manded adjective
  • well-com·manded adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of command1

First recorded in 1250–1300; (verb) Middle English coma(u)nden, from Anglo-French com(m)a(u)nder, Old French comander, from Medieval Latin commandāre, equivalent to Latin com- com- + mandāre “to entrust, order” ( commend ); (noun) late Middle English comma(u)nde, from Anglo-French, Old French; the noun is derivative of the verb
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Word History and Origins

Origin of command1

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

In addition to the idiom beginning with command , also see have a good command .
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Synonym Study

See direct. See rule.
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Example Sentences

The feature, which has been around for years, allows Alexa users to combine multiple tasks into a single voice command of their choosing.

Second, the department plans to overhaul the process and chain of command for simultaneous search warrants.

From Vox

The formidable DJI RoboMaster S1 will accept commands from a remote, or via a simple coding system called Scratch.

You could have it switch all your smart home devices off with a single command.

Bashagha, who sought to rein in militias after fighting between armed groups rocked Tripoli in 2018, angered al-Sarraj by stating publicly that the civilian police under his command would protect demonstrators.

From Ozy

Certainly, she seems to command near-total devotion among her clients.

You expect soldiers of all ranks to understand the need to respect the chain of command, regardless of personal feelings.

The seemingly endless ranks snapped to attention on command and thousands of white gloves rose in salute.

Perhaps the most interesting and indeed relevant of this is the C2 (or Command and Control) addresses found in the malware.

In the event, the enemy did plenty—far more than SHAEF, or for that matter the German high command, imagined possible.

One of the simplest of these childish tricks is the invention of an excuse for not instantly obeying a command, as "Come here!"

Like every other Spanish general in supreme command abroad, Polavieja had his enemies in Spain.

Thanks to Berthier's admirable system, Bonaparte was kept in touch with every part of his command.

They were never refused, for their recipients looked upon them much in the light of a royal command.

The General in command of the station was a feeble old man, suffering from senile decay.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.