Definition of commissary in English:



  • 1A deputy or delegate.

    • ‘It must first ask the board of commissaries, in this case the House of Representatives.’
    • ‘Due to either lack of course knowledge or obstinacy, the commissaries maintained the original lap count and sent the riders off to suffer for six laps and what would become a 3-hour death march.’
    • ‘For instance, we are trying to teach French to the new European commissaries.’
    • ‘Clive conquered and organized Bengal for the East India Company He first went to Madras as a clerk in 1743 and by 1749 had won the lucrative appointment of military commissary.’
    • ‘The commissary, a commissioned officer, handled food procurement and, like the quartermaster, on many questions answered directly to his superiors in the national capital rather than to the army commander.’
    1. 1.1 A representative or deputy of a bishop.
      • ‘The assurance of salvation by letters of pardon is vain, even though the commissary, nay, even though the pope himself, were to stake his soul upon it.’
      • ‘The following letter has been received by the Bishop's Commissary’
      • ‘Under the supervision of the Bishop of London, commissaries were appointed in many colonies to provide supervision and support of church life.’
      • ‘Both Askham and Crokford were cited to appear before the bishop's commissary for inquiry and judgement.’
      • ‘When he called upon James, the bishop's commissary in Williamsburg, the latter expressed doubts about recommending him, his ostensible reason being that his knowledge of Greek was inadequate.’
      representative, envoy, emissary, commissioner, agent, deputy, commissary
      View synonyms
  • 2North American A restaurant or food store in a military base, prison, or other institution.

    • ‘Take advantage of such military benefits as the commissary, Post Exchange, thrift shop, tuition assistance, health care, recreation centers and movie theaters.’
    • ‘She works the 5 to 6 o'clock shift (AM to PM that is) and is on hand everyday in the commissary and restaurants.’
    • ‘I am on my way to the commissary for coffee and you haven't eaten in days.’
    • ‘Although it was six miles from Keflavik, the site had its own base exchange, commissary, gym, theater and club.’
    • ‘The restaurants paid the commissary a price for supplies that left their food costs at 28% to 29% of revenues.’
    • ‘He never told the commissary to make tapioca pudding no matter how often I asked.’
    • ‘The day the cast filmed their last episode, I saw them in the commissary.’
    • ‘I told Nicole we'd go down to the commissary and get her something to eat.’
    • ‘A boarding house/hotel and commissary was also on the property.’
    • ‘Among buildings in full bloom are the new base exchange, fitness center, commissary, a school consolidating kindergarten through high school in one main area, collocated club and four modern dormitories.’
    • ‘Lunchtime at the studio was fun because everyone would eat at the commissary in costume.’
    • ‘I used to go to the commissary with him and sit next to people that were dressed like Indian chiefs and cowboys and monsters.’
    • ‘One early focus was the company's commissary, which imported olive oil, cheese, and other ingredients from Italy and then made sauces, salad dressings, and pastas by hand.’
    • ‘He wouldn't need food or cooking utensils; the Club's commissary supplied that.’
    • ‘Current services include a child care center, recreation center, community club, fitness center, Army community services, skeet club, commissary and post office.’
    • ‘Still, at virtually every movie premiere, in studio commissaries, over lunch at The Grill and at other show-business hang-outs, the investigation, and who is being called before the grand jury, have become the major topic of discussion.’
    • ‘Most importantly, this site is not for complaining about the price of steak in the commissary.’
    • ‘We didn't eat in the commissary.’


Late Middle English: from medieval Latin commissarius person in charge, from Latin commiss- joined, entrusted, from the verb committere (see commit).