1. a person commissioned to act officially; member of a commission.
  2. a government official or representative in charge of a department or district: the police commissioner; the commissioner of a colony.
  3. an official chosen by an athletic association to exercise broad administrative or judicial authority: the baseball commissioner.

Origin of commissioner

1400–50; late Middle English < Anglo-French. See commission, -er2
Related formscom·mis·sion·er·ship, nounsub·com·mis·sion·er, nounsub·com·mis·sion·er·ship, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for commissioners

administrator, magistrate

Examples from the Web for commissioners

Contemporary Examples of commissioners

Historical Examples of commissioners

British Dictionary definitions for commissioners


  1. a person authorized to perform certain tasks or endowed with certain powers
  2. government
    1. any of several types of civil servant
    2. an ombudsmanSee also Health Service Commissioner, Parliamentary Commissioner
  3. a member of a commission
Derived Formscommissionership, 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 commissioners



early 15c., "one appointed by a commission," from Anglo-French commissionaire, from Medieval Latin commissionarius, from commissionem (see commission (n.)). Meaning "member of a commission" is from 1530s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper