Definition of commander in English:



  • 1A person in authority, especially over a body of troops or a military operation.

    ‘the commander of a paratroop regiment’
    • ‘To stem any potential mutiny by the public, military commanders have replaced civilian governors.’
    • ‘It is also true that military commanders care about their troops and do not want to waste lives.’
    • ‘Society and the state evidence the need for the emergence of and functioning of military leaders, commanders, who enjoy authority.’
    • ‘He strode with the swagger of a military commander, surveying his troops, evaluating his options.’
    • ‘Military commanders say they are raising their offensive operations against terrorist strongholds.’
    • ‘This precedent focuses on military commanders conducting operations that affect the surrounding civilian population.’
    • ‘The new zones will be under the ultimate authority of military commanders.’
    • ‘Without this war declaration, military commanders have no command authority over contractor personnel.’
    • ‘He is one of 11 former militia commanders from different military units around the country, that have been sent to Japan in two groups so far.’
    • ‘It was the first time since 1945 that Britain had faced an assault on its sovereignty, and its military commanders had never considered this type of expeditionary warfare.’
    • ‘Our military commanders go to great lengths to ensure that the weapons they deploy and the tactics they use minimize civilian casualties.’
    • ‘Military commanders have warned coalition troops in the south, where British troops are based, to be on their guard against attack.’
    • ‘By the end of the war, military commanders had integrated it into practically every type of mission.’
    • ‘Military commanders must be able to conduct operations in permissive, uncertain, and hostile environments.’
    • ‘For centuries commanders have recognized that military proficiency requires prior study and exercise.’
    • ‘Sand can play havoc with machinery, despite technological improvements to parts such as air filters but military commanders insist troops could cope with the heat.’
    • ‘One of the oldest criticisms of military commanders is they are constantly trying to fight the last war.’
    • ‘No more than 15 percent of the guerrilla commanders were military professionals.’
    • ‘Once the general concept was approved by the squadron commander, the troop commanders and the squadron staff began to select specific targets.’
    • ‘That's twice as many troops as military commanders suggested earlier in the week.’
    leader, head, headman, boss, chief, director, manager, overseer, controller, master
    commander-in-chief, c.-in-c., commanding officer, co, officer, captain
    boss man, skipper, number one, top dog, kingpin, bigwig, mr big, big cheese
    gaffer, guv'nor
    numero uno, sachem, big white chief, big wheel, head honcho, honcho, big kahuna, high muckamuck
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    1. 1.1A rank of naval officer, above lieutenant commander and below captain.
      • ‘In simulation, however, such disasters can be reversed - a luxury not afforded to ship commanders in the field.’
      • ‘Prince Rupert had two military careers, as an army officer until 1646 and as a naval commander thereafter.’
      • ‘Allied naval commanders had a great respect for him, but he was not so highly thought of by some of his colleagues.’
      • ‘This was not a ponderous process but the kind of decision making that one might expect of a commander in chief.’
      • ‘Britain provided the deputy commander and some naval forces and other countries contributed a few ships.’
      • ‘And by giving the impression that naval commanders were dealing with the problem in a professional way he maintained the dynamism that Russians respect in a leader.’
      • ‘Incidentally, this pattern was that worn by captains and commanders from 1832-1939.’
      • ‘This contrasted sharply with the situation of the opposing commander, Admiral Villeneuve.’
      • ‘Some commanders, such as Nelson, were expert intelligence officers; others were not.’
      • ‘We asked the commander of U.S. naval forces in the region about his efforts to keep the peace.’
      • ‘Admiral Nelson had several qualities that ensured his success as a naval commander.’
      • ‘Cumberland later went back to sea with one captain and five commanders on board - the six are shortly to assume command of their own frigates and destroyers.’
      • ‘In Admiral Spruance, it had found one of the Pacific War's most effective tactical naval commanders.’
      • ‘Both American and British naval commanders are already familiar with the Gulf.’
      • ‘Admiral William Halsey was a senior American naval commander in the Pacific region during World War Two.’
      • ‘Two days later, he told naval commanders that there was ‘a limit to our patience’.’
      • ‘The Roman naval commanders of AD43 would have had a massive incentive to reduce these uncertainties by using the short crossing of the Dover Strait.’
      • ‘Senior commanders must ensure that this change is not permitted to affect the education of senior officers negatively.’
      • ‘Warren served in the navy for five years, and was described by his senior naval commanders as a superior able seaman.’
    2. 1.2An officer in charge of a Metropolitan Police district in London.
      • ‘The borough patrol are being replaced by police community support officers, who have similar powers but come under the control of police commanders.’
      • ‘The council executive believes the tactic would deter petty criminals from bad behaviour, and it wants the decision to be devolved from the Met to borough police commanders.’
      • ‘CNN reports that it contacted a police commander who had a vague recollection of arresting him.’
      • ‘The police commander said the terrorists deliberately set out to kill and to injure as many people as possible.’
      • ‘Local police commanders were asked to comment on the concerns and they raised several issues including the gap between actual crime and the fear of crime.’
      • ‘The police commander told the students that drug use and criminal activities pose a constant threat to young people today.’
      • ‘They then appointed their own commanders in the police stations.’
      • ‘The strategy holds police commanders accountable for crime rates.’
      • ‘He wants to make communities more involved in policing and make police commanders of the future more accountable to criticism when services are not up to scratch.’
      • ‘Greek police commanders said the men had talked regularly with hostage negotiators by mobile phone.’
      • ‘The sergeant has taken over the role of section commander at Tidworth police station.’
      • ‘Reacting to the outrage, Indonesian police commanders yesterday defended the conduct of investigators.’
      • ‘On that basis, the police commander decides to storm the house.’
      • ‘In attendance from the police were a number of senior officers led by the local area commander.’
      • ‘Police commanders ruled out a rooftop rescue that morning.’
      • ‘His assessment of the violence was backed by the district police commander for North Belfast.’
      • ‘He told police commanders here on Friday they should resign if they were not prepared to stop prisoners escaping from police holding cells.’
      • ‘Mr O'Connor said the association was concerned, but he did not blame the district commanders, whose performance was measured by crime statistics.’
      • ‘Police commanders concluded that it must have been swamped by waves and refused to conduct a search further east for signs of the life raft.’
      • ‘No one was jailed and the police commanders involved were promoted to higher posts.’
  • 2A member of a higher class in some orders of knighthood.

    • ‘The professor, who has worked at Imperial College since 1970 was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to Population Ecology.’
    • ‘Singer Rod Stewart, seen here at a 2004 London concert, will be made a Commander of the British Empire.’
    • ‘He was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honour by his second country in 1896 and a commander of the order in 1933.’


Middle English: from Old French comandeor, from late Latin commandare (see command).