v. com·mand·ed, com·mand·ing, com·mands
1. To direct with authority; give orders to.
2. To have control or authority over; rule: a general who commands an army.
3. To have at one's disposal: a person who commands seven languages.
4. To deserve and receive as due; exact: The troops' bravery commanded respect.
a. To exercise dominating, authoritative influence over: "He commands any room he enters" (Stephen Schiff).
b. To dominate by physical position; overlook: a mountain commanding the valley below.
1. To give orders.
2. To exercise authority or control as or as if one is a commander.
1. The act of commanding.
2. An order given with authority.
3. Computers A signal that initiates an operation defined by an instruction.
a. The authority to command: an admiral in command.
b. Possession and exercise of the authority to command: command of the seas.
5. Ability to control or use; mastery: command of four languages.
6. Dominance by location; extent of view.
a. The jurisdiction of a commander.
b. A military unit, post, district, or region under the control of one officer.
c. A unit of the US Air Force that is larger than an air force.
1. Of, relating to, or constituting a command: command headquarters; a command decision.
2. Done or performed in response to a command: a command performance.
[Middle English commaunden, from Old French comander, from Late Latin commandāre : Latin com-, intensive pref.; see COM- + Latin mandāre, to entrust; see man-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.