[kuh-man-der, -mahn-]
  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.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for commandership

Historical Examples of commandership

  • Some years before, he had resigned his commandership in the Northern club.

    Horace Chase

    Constance Fenimore Woolson

  • The same is still truer when we come to the inferior orders, which are still fairly high, such as the Commandership of the Bath.

  • Not if they are history, and eloquence and commandership have power over the blood and souls of men.

  • After Absalom's rebellion David foolishly and unjustly offered the commandership of the army to his nephew Amasa.

  • Through the actual topknot, a long eagle feather, in special signification of commandership, was stuck slantingly.

British Dictionary definitions for commandership


  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
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 commandership



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper