[kuh-mish-uh n]


verb (used with object)


    in commission,
    1. in service.
    2. in operating order: A great deal of work will be necessary to put this car in commission again.
    3. Also into commission.Navy.(of a ship) manned and in condition for or ordered to active service.
    on commission, paid entirely or partially with commissions from sales one has made or for work one has done: The salespeople who are on commission earn 6 percent of the total amount they sell.
    out of commission,
    1. not in service: Telephone lines were out of commission for several days after the storm.
    2. not in operating order: Sorry, but I can't bake cupcakes for you while the stove is out of commission.

Origin of commission

1300–50; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin commissiōn- (stem of commissiō) a committing. See com-, mission, commit
Related formscom·mis·sion·a·ble, adjectivecom·mis·sion·al, adjectivecom·mis·sive, adjectivecom·mis·sive·ly, adverbin·ter·com·mis·sion, nounre·com·mis·sion, noun, verb (used with object)sub·com·mis·sion, nounun·com·mis·sioned, adjective
Can be confusedcommission omission Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for commissionable



a duty or task committed to a person or group to perform
authority to undertake or perform certain duties or functions
a document granting such authority
  1. a document conferring a rank on an officer
  2. the rank or authority thereby granted
a group of people charged with certain dutiesa commission of inquiry
a government agency or board empowered to exercise administrative, judicial, or legislative authoritySee also Royal Commission
  1. the authority given to a person or organization to act as an agent to a principal in commercial transactions
  2. the fee allotted to an agent for services rendered
the state of being charged with specific duties or responsibilities
the act of committing a sin, crime, etc
something, esp a sin, crime, etc, that is committed
good working condition or (esp of a ship) active service (esp in the phrases in or into commission, out of commission)
US the head of a department of municipal government


(tr) to grant authority to; charge with a duty or task
(tr) military to confer a rank on or authorize an action by
(tr) to equip and test (a ship) for active service
to make or become operative or operablethe plant is due to commission next year
(tr) to place an order for (something)to commission a portrait
Derived Formscommissional or commissionary, adjective

Word Origin for commission

C14: from Old French, from Latin commissiō a bringing together, from committere to commit
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 commissionable



mid-14c., "authority entrusted to someone," from Latin commissionem (nominative commissio) "delegation of business," noun of action from past participle stem of committere (see commit). Meaning "body of persons charged with authority" is from late 15c.



1660s, from commission (n.). Related: Commissioned; commissioning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

commissionable in Culture


A fee paid to a broker or other financial agent for negotiating a sale. The fee is based on a percentage of the sale price.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with commissionable


see in commission; on commission; out of commission.

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