com·mand / kəˈmand/ • v. [tr.] 1. give an authoritative order: a gruff voice commanded us to enter. ∎ [intr.] give orders: she commands and we obey. ∎ [intr.] have authority: someone born to command. ∎ Mil. have authority over; be in charge of (a unit). ∎ dominate (a strategic position) from a superior height: the two castles commanded the harbor. ∎ archaic control or restrain (oneself or one's feelings).2. be in a strong enough position to secure: no party commanded a majority. ∎ deserve and receive: a moral force that commanded respect.• n. an authoritative order. ∎ Comput. an instruction or signal that causes a computer to perform one of its basic functions. ∎ authority, esp. over armed forces: an officer took command. ∎ [in sing.] the ability to use or control something: he had a brilliant command of English. ∎ [treated as sing. or pl.] Mil. a group of officers exercising control over a particular group or operation. ∎ Mil. a body of troops or a district under the control of a particular officer. .PHRASES: at someone's command at someone's disposal; available.
Hence command sb. XVI. So commandant XVII. — F., or It., etc. commander, commandment XIII. — OF. commando (orig. S. Africa) military party, raid. XIX. — Pg.
1. See job-control language.
2. Obsolete name for instruction or statement, i.e. the elementary unit from which a program is built up.