[ kuh-man-ding, -mahn- ]
/ kəˈmæn dɪŋ, -ˈmɑn- /


being in command: a commanding officer.
appreciably superior or imposing; winning; sizable: a commanding position; a commanding lead in the final period.
having the air, tone, etc., of command; imposing; authoritative: a man of commanding appearance; a commanding voice.
dominating by position, usually elevation; overlooking: a commanding bluff at the mouth of the river.
(of a view, or prospect) provided by a commanding location and so permitting dominance: a commanding view of the mouth of the river.

Origin of commanding

First recorded in 1475–85; command + -ing2
Related formscom·mand·ing·ly, adverbcom·mand·ing·ness, nounqua·si-com·mand·ing, adjectivequa·si-com·mand·ing·ly, adverb

Definition for commanding (2 of 2)

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

Synonym study

1. See direct. 3. See rule. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for commanding

British Dictionary definitions for commanding (1 of 3)


/ (kəˈmɑːndɪŋ) /

adjective (usually prenominal)

being in command
having the air of authoritya commanding voice
(of a position, situation, etc) exerting control
(of a height, viewpoint, etc) overlooking; advantageous

Derived Formscommandingly, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for commanding (2 of 3)


/ (kəˈmɑːnd) /



Word Origin for command

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

British Dictionary definitions for commanding (3 of 3)


/ (kəˈmɑːnd) /


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

Idioms and Phrases with commanding


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.