General English

  • verb to order someone to do something
  • verb to be in charge of a group of people, especially in the armed forces


  • noun an electrical pulse or signal that will start or stop a process
  • noun a word or phrase which is recognised by a computer system and starts or terminates an action


  • One or more signals which actuate a device. For instance, a remote control sending RF signals to control a device.
  • An instruction that causes a computer action. For instance, pressing a function key to obtain the programmed result.


  • noun an official instruction to do something
  • noun the management and direction of troops, vehicles or equipment
  • noun an organization which manages and directs military forces at strategic level
  • noun a strategic grouping of armed forces (e.g. bomber Command)
  • noun a region or district under the command of a senior officer (e.g. southern Command)
  • abbreviationCmd

Origin & History of “command”

Ultimately, command and commend are the same word. Both come from Latin compound verbs formed from the intensive prefix com- and the verb mandāre ‘entrust, commit to someone’s charge’ (from which we get mandate). In the classical period this combination produced commendāre ‘commit to someone’s charge, commend, recommend’, which passed into English in the 14th century (recommend, a medieval formation, was acquired by English from medieval Latin in the 14th century). Later on, the compounding process was repeated, giving late Latin commandāre. By this time, mandāre had come to mean ‘order’ as well as ‘entrust’ (a change reflected in English mandatory). Commandāre inherited both these senses, and they coexisted through Old French comander and Anglo-Norman comaunder into middle English commande. But ‘entrust’ was gradually taken over from the 14th century by commend, and by the end of the 15th century command meant simply ‘order’.

Commandeer and commando are both of Afrikaans origin, and became established in English at the end of the 19th century largely as a result of the Boer War. Commodore (17th c.) is probably a modification of Dutch komandeur, from French commandeur ‘commander’.