I. verb Etymology: Middle English comanden, from Anglo-French cumander, from Vulgar Latin *commandare, alteration of Latin commendare to commit to one's charge — more at commend Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. to direct authoritatively ; order 2. to exercise a dominating influence over ; have command of: as a. to have at one's immediate disposal <
commands many resources
b. to demand or receive as one's due <
commands a high fee
c. to overlook or dominate from or as if from a strategic position <
a hill that commands the city
d. to have military command of as senior officer <
command a regiment
3. obsolete to order or request to be given intransitive verb 1. to have or exercise direct authority ; govern 2. to give orders 3. to be commander 4. to dominate as if from an elevated place • commandable adjective Synonyms: command, order, bid, enjoin, direct, instruct, charge mean to issue orders. command and order imply authority and usually some degree of formality and impersonality. command stresses official exercise of authority <
a general commanding troops
. order may suggest peremptory or arbitrary exercise <
ordered his employees about like slaves
. bid suggests giving orders peremptorily (as to children or servants) <
she bade him be seated
. enjoin implies giving an order or direction authoritatively and urgently and often with admonition or solicitude <
a sign enjoining patrons to be quiet
. direct and instruct both connote expectation of obedience and usually concern specific points of procedure or method, instruct sometimes implying greater explicitness or formality <
directed her assistant to hold all calls
the judge instructed the jury to ignore the remark
. charge adds to enjoin an implication of imposing as a duty or responsibility <
charged by the President with a secret mission
. II. noun Date: 15th century 1. a. an order given b. a signal that actuates a device (as a control mechanism in a spacecraft or one step in a computer); also the activation of a device by means of such a signal 2. a. the ability to control ; mastery b. the authority or right to command <
the officer in command
c. (1) the power to dominate (2) scope of vision d. facility in use <
a good command of French
e. control 1d <
a pitcher with good command of his curveball
3. the act of commanding 4. the personnel, area, or organization under a commander; specifically a unit of the United States Air Force higher than an air force 5. a position of highest usually military authority Synonyms: see power III. adjective Date: 1826 done on command or request <
a command performance

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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