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commander

[kuh-man-der, -mahn-]
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noun
  1. a person who commands.
  2. a person who exercises authority; chief officer; leader.
  3. the commissioned officer in command of a military unit.
  4. U.S. Navy. an officer ranking below a captain and above a lieutenant commander.
  5. a police officer in charge of a precinct or other unit.
  6. the chief officer of a commandery in the medieval orders of Knights Hospitalers, Knights Templars, and others.
  7. a member of one of the higher classes or ranks in certain modern fraternal orders, as in the Knights Templars.
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Origin of commander

1250–1300; Middle English < Old French comandere, equivalent to comand(er) to command + -ere < Latin -ātōr- -ator
Related formscom·mand·er·ship, nounsub·com·mand·er, nounsub·com·mand·er·ship, nounun·der·com·mand·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

administratorrulerheaddirectorchiefofficercaptaincommandantdonguruexecbossskippermastermindczarcokingfishkingpin

Examples from the Web for commander

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Six months more passed, and still no tidings of the ship or its commander.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • He looked more like a clerk from a grocery store than the commander of an army.

  • Yates bade good-by to the commander, and walked with his friend out of the camp.

  • He was in the fight, and boarded with Decatur, but did not save his commander's life.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • The commander still sat on his saddle under the beech-tree where I had left him.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic


British Dictionary definitions for commander

commander

noun
  1. an officer in command of a military formation or operation
  2. a naval commissioned rank junior to captain but senior to lieutenant commander
  3. the second in command of larger British warships
  4. someone who holds authority
  5. a high-ranking member of some knightly or fraternal orders
  6. an officer responsible for a district of the Metropolitan Police in London
  7. history the administrator of a house, priory, or landed estate of a medieval religious order
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Derived Formscommandership, noun
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 commander

n.

early 14c., comandur, from Old French comandeor, from comander (see command (v.)). Commander in chief attested from 1650s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper