[kuh-man-ding, -mahn-]
  1. being in command: a commanding officer.
  2. appreciably superior or imposing; winning; sizable: a commanding position; a commanding lead in the final period.
  3. having the air, tone, etc., of command; imposing; authoritative: a man of commanding appearance; a commanding voice.
  4. dominating by position, usually elevation; overlooking: a commanding bluff at the mouth of the river.
  5. (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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for commandingly

Historical Examples of commandingly

  • It is well for us that the Lincoln centennial comes to say this to us persuasively and commandingly.

  • "I have no time to waste in talk, my man," he said commandingly.

    The Light of Scarthey

    Egerton Castle

  • "Naught is your science of man, naught is your science of the stars," said the archdeacon, commandingly.

  • I addressed him jocularly, then commandingly, then beseechingly.

    Pharaoh's Broker

    Ellsworth Douglass

  • "Doctor, listen now and look," I said firmly and commandingly.

    Pharaoh's Broker

    Ellsworth Douglass

British Dictionary definitions for commandingly


adjective (usually prenominal)
  1. being in command
  2. having the air of authoritya commanding voice
  3. (of a position, situation, etc) exerting control
  4. (of a height, viewpoint, etc) overlooking; advantageous
Derived Formscommandingly, adverb
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 commandingly



late 15c. (in astronomy), present participle adjective from command (v.). Meaning "nobly dignified" is from 1590s. Meaning "dominant by virtue of size or position" is from 1630s. Related: Commandingly (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper