Definition of order in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The arrangement or disposition of people or things in relation to each other according to a particular sequence, pattern, or method.

    ‘I filed the cards in alphabetical order’
    • ‘A stroke can affect your ability to read and write and even if you can talk, sometimes the words don't come out in the correct order.’
    • ‘In interests of fairness, and to avoid any suggestion of judgement from me, the pieces are presented in alphabetical order.’
    • ‘Houses are listed in descending order of price, but it is up to web users to discover this for themselves.’
    • ‘Most were lined up at the back of the desk, arranged in alphabetical order by author.’
    • ‘She shipped in a huge library of books and arranged all 600 of them into alphabetical order.’
    • ‘The exhibition is organized in chronological order.’
    • ‘According to the evolutionary sequence, the biblical order of creation is all wrong.’
    • ‘The author has selected and arranged the music compositions in order of complexity and structural content.’
    • ‘Dignitaries were seated in alphabetical order, according to their countries.’
    • ‘Entitled That's Life, the book has been written to no orthodox chronological order or set pattern.’
    • ‘First, write down your goals in order of priority and then set up a timeline to achieve them.’
    • ‘These activities and events are not listed in order of importance.’
    • ‘If there are no children and no spouse then parents, brothers and sisters, and more distant relatives roughly in that order will benefit.’
    • ‘They serial numbers weren't in sequential order.’
    • ‘Legal requirements oblige voters to indicate a vote, in order of preference, to every candidate on the ballot paper.’
    • ‘The names are in alphabetical order and first, second and third places will be announced on the night of the ceremony.’
    • ‘Three criticisms can be made of the present rules, which are as follows in ascending order of gravity.’
    • ‘It highlights the top 10 Windows and top 10 Unix issues in their relative order of importance.’
    • ‘The choice of topics and the order of their presentation clearly received careful attention.’
    • ‘Tobias shoved the first few books onto the shelves, not caring if they were in the correct order or not.’
    sequence, arrangement, organization, disposition, structure, system, series, succession
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A state in which everything is in its correct or appropriate place.
      ‘she tried to put her shattered thoughts into some semblance of order’
      • ‘By the time the Professor returned from the airport, all public areas of the house had been restored to a semblance of order and calm.’
      • ‘Nana's extreme love for order sort of explains my mom's fanaticism with cleanliness.’
      • ‘Only from above, from a great height, can the logic, pattern and essential order of this garden be perceived.’
      • ‘One day I'll reorganise the sections into some semblance of order.’
      • ‘It is one of the least known, yet most powerful, devices for achieving pattern and order in the world.’
      • ‘Cleanliness, punctuality, order and method are essentials in the character of a good housekeeper.’
      • ‘To study history means submitting to chaos and nevertheless retaining faith in order and meaning.’
      • ‘Augustine saw order as the supreme manifestation of providence.’
      • ‘The general atmosphere was one of businesslike order and purpose.’
      • ‘He had to create order and purpose in the midst of a terrible chaos.’
      • ‘Thousands of commuters faced the prospect of trying to get home as the initial chaos gave way to some semblance of order by mid-afternoon.’
      • ‘Unknown symbols flash past me as I look for a pattern, for underlying order beneath seeming chaos.’
      • ‘The Victorians brought order to everything - scientific research included.’
      • ‘A new approach might try to impose some order, codifying the rules by which Britain is governed.’
      • ‘The law has to bring some order into the relationship between cyclists and pedestrians, which at the moment is in complete chaos.’
      • ‘Never stop telling them how important it is that your home have a sense of order about it.’
      tidiness, neatness, orderliness, trimness, harmony, apple-pie order
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2A state in which the laws and rules regulating public behaviour are observed and authority is obeyed.
      ‘the army was deployed to keep order’
      • ‘Questions have been raised over the possible impact the promotion of the NPA would have on public peace and order.’
      • ‘The real trick is to achieve order while upholding the rule of law.’
      • ‘Because once the law goes order collapses and the rule of the gun or the bully prevails.’
      • ‘Law, on the other hand, is a particular method of producing order.’
      • ‘Octavian from beginning to end insisted on peace and public order.’
      • ‘His country was occupied by Romans, and they had cruel methods of keeping order.’
      • ‘To maintain public order, the authorities instituted a regular, salaried police force.’
      • ‘They stand for order and the rule of law in an age when disorder and lawlessness are ever more widespread.’
      • ‘When these efforts fail, city officials call in the military to help restore order.’
      • ‘Fistfights broke out in the hall and, for 20 minutes, police were unable to restore order.’
      • ‘It is the duty of the courts to ensure that there is order under the rule of law.’
      • ‘Insp Thomas, of Southend Police, said the extra officers would probably be used to keep order in the pubs and nightspots.’
      • ‘As long as the public identifies order with law, it will believe that an orderly society is impossible without the law the state provides.’
      • ‘Public order in the city is a matter best left to the authorities and the police.’
      • ‘I believe in order and justice. I believe that people are by nature good.’
      • ‘City prosecutors said they might charge the 21 with disrupting public order.’
      • ‘After police restored order extra patrols were put on the streets in the area to reassure the public.’
      • ‘Their job was to secure public order through terror, intimidation and violence.’
      • ‘For those with no respect or regard for law and order, such rules and laws are irrelevant.’
      • ‘It was enough that the rules invoked were imposed on all citizens for the protection of public order.’
      peace, control, lawful behaviour, law and order, law, lawfulness, discipline, calm, quiet, peace and quiet, quietness, peacefulness, peaceableness, tranquillity, serenity
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3The prescribed or established procedure followed by a meeting, legislative assembly, debate, or court of law.
      ‘the meeting was called to order’
      • ‘She banged her hammer, noting that the meeting was over and calling the court to order.’
      • ‘The Lukhanji town council has adopted new rules of order to regulate the conduct of its council and committee meetings.’
      • ‘After the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, the meeting was called to order.’
    4. 1.4A stated form of liturgical service, or of administration of a rite, prescribed by ecclesiastical authority.
      • ‘As I have been to many Evensongs since, the order of the service is now second nature.’
      • ‘The order of service has not yet been finalised but a police family liaison officer has been asked to read a poem during the service.’
      • ‘If you still have last year's order of service, please bring this along with you, as the hymn format will be similar.’
      • ‘Much of the music and order of service had been chosen by the Princess herself.’
      rite, ritual, ceremonial, observance
      View synonyms
  • 2An authoritative command or instruction.

    ‘he was not going to take orders from a mere administrator’
    [with infinitive] ‘the skipper gave the order to abandon ship’
    • ‘He said they had no choice but take to orders from above.’
    • ‘She was at pains to stress that job losses and branch closures are hers to decide and are not based on orders from the Melbourne headquarters.’
    • ‘So where did this order come from - government or senior management?’
    • ‘They are also worried that some soldiers opposed to the withdrawal will disobey orders to evacuate settlers.’
    • ‘Against Henry III's orders, Guise marched on Paris.’
    • ‘Once they were airborne, James turned on his radio to receive any last minute instructions or orders.’
    • ‘The navy pilots had orders not to fire unless fired on.’
    • ‘Despite the doctor's order, she stood and went back to the window.’
    • ‘The president hasn't issued any orders along that line yet.’
    • ‘However Portugal was reluctant to stop trading with Britain, both for economic and political reasons, and Napoleon decided to send his armies to Portugal to force them to comply with his orders.’
    • ‘He is under strict orders to keep the subject of his investigation under wraps, but one could hazard a wild guess that it will touch on matters political.’
    • ‘Kennedy moved quickly down the line shouting orders to fire and reload.’
    • ‘Williams dropped his headset and grabbed his weapon, shouting orders the entire time.’
    • ‘The army, against orders, retreated south.’
    • ‘Nobody likes taking orders or advice from others.’
    • ‘Arrested in France on the orders of British intelligence, he then fled to Switzerland.’
    • ‘The commander bellowed the orders and the men rushed to do the his bidding.’
    • ‘He lives in Adelaide and has been under doctor's orders not to travel.’
    • ‘During World War II, a German army commander disobeyed orders to destroy the Ponte Vecchio.’
    • ‘They resigned in the face of threatened reprisals if they defied a government order to return to work.’
    command, instruction, directive, direction, decree, edict, injunction, mandate, dictate, commandment
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1A verbal or written request for something to be made, supplied, or served.
      ‘the firm has won an order for six tankers’
      • ‘Just because a server is polite and brings you the correct order doesn't mean they deserve a tip.’
      • ‘Advance orders have now reached 1.8 million worldwide.’
      • ‘The skinny waiter came back with the drinks and took our orders.’
      • ‘Now the National Books website receives millions of hits and processes tens of thousands of online transactions and book orders each day.’
      • ‘The shop was humming with activity as waitresses whizzed to and fro, taking orders or delivering desserts to the customers.’
      • ‘Now, factory workers place orders directly with suppliers via touchscreen computers at their work stations.’
      • ‘A spokesperson confirmed that 40 to 60 people are to be employed on a short-term basis to meet production orders.’
      • ‘Colin dialed up a local pizza parlor and put in an order for five large pizzas.’
      • ‘Unaccustomed to such efficient and personal service I placed my order at once, sat back and waited.’
      • ‘Once you're seated, the waitress promptly takes your order and then serves the dish.’
      • ‘Online sellers also spend more money checking and processing orders.’
      • ‘The factory is the biggest local employer, and many other local industries depend on orders from the firm.’
      • ‘In the last week it has won orders worth more than £300,000.’
      • ‘The waitress wrote down the orders and left with a smile on her face.’
      • ‘With Christmas just around the corner, we are now taking orders for Christmas cakes and puddings etc.’
      • ‘The books are destined to be bestsellers, with advance orders for over 400,000 already taken from booksellers nationwide.’
      • ‘Last month the government confirmed an order for two aircraft carriers at a cost of £3 billion.’
      • ‘The company expects orders to reach at least $2.5 billion for the whole year.’
      • ‘On the export front, the showcasing of the car in the Auto Mechanika last year has resulted in good export orders and enquiries.’
      • ‘Jim guarantees that within three weeks of placing your order, the product can be delivered.’
      commission, purchase order, request, requisition, demand, call
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    2. 2.2A thing made, supplied, or served as a result of an order.
      ‘he would deliver special orders for the Sunday dinner’
      • ‘However, the internet retailer has been dogged by claims that it left some customers without Christmas presents after failing to deliver orders on time.’
      • ‘I was told that their next order wasn't being delivered for another six weeks, and that I'd be better ordering it online myself.’
      • ‘The FTC takes a very aggressive stance towards retailers who fail to deliver orders on time.’
      • ‘It signed up its millionth customer in December, and delivered over a million orders in the run-up to Christmas.’
      • ‘The self-assembly furniture retailer said it was unable to deliver orders on time due to supply chain problems.’
      • ‘Suppliers are also left out of pocket when they think they are delivering high-value orders to a legitimate address and their subsequent invoices go unpaid.’
      • ‘The book came today and was waiting on the kitchen table when Jill and I came in with six orders of well-done fried onion rings.’
      • ‘A rise in the number of volunteers available to deliver orders has made it possible for the service to be extended.’
      • ‘We only deliver an order once the payment is cleared.’
      • ‘In future, these businesses could lose big customers if they failed to prove they had appropriate plans to minimise disruption and ensure customer orders could be delivered.’
      • ‘We are busy sourcing new products and shipping orders.’
      • ‘After a tiring morning I come home and find that my postman had delivered my recent order from Amazon.’
      • ‘The fact is that the company is still losing about £4 every time it delivers an order.’
      • ‘Customer service is also rated a top priority, with the company aiming to deliver 90 per cent of orders by the next day.’
      • ‘I left the house in time to prepare the orders and get them delivered.’
    3. 2.3A written direction of a court or judge.
      ‘she was admitted to hospital under a guardianship order’
      • ‘The judge will pass sentence in the new year when the businessman will face either a jail term or a lengthy community service order.’
      • ‘The government is expected to apply for a special administration order under the Railways Act in the High Court over the next few days.’
      • ‘I have not seen any order of the court with regard to Dr Smith, nor have I seen the court's judgment.’
      • ‘If no other order of the Court is made tomorrow, I would expect that he will be released tomorrow.’
      • ‘He said the group had a good case to mount a legal challenge to the administration order but would waive its right to pursue litigation once the deal was done.’
      • ‘The above conditions may be varied or deleted by further order of the court.’
      • ‘The pair were given a shared custody order by a Pasadena court on July 27, 1999 with equal rights and duties.’
      • ‘To defy a High Court deportation order, he took sanctuary in the Church of the Ascension.’
      • ‘Gray was sentenced to a psychiatric and community service rehabilitation order of three years.’
      • ‘The court made no order for costs against the defendant.’
      • ‘He was sentenced to a 200-hour community service order and was banned from driving for 18 months.’
      • ‘‘The government has always respected and executed orders of this Court,’ they wrote.’
      • ‘He was given a community service order and put on probation.’
      • ‘The judge will consider the confiscation order in relation to his recent convictions.’
      • ‘The lawsuit has been put on hold by the administration order which protects a company from its creditors and gives it time to put together a rescue package.’
      • ‘He was acquitted on the orders of a judge on the grounds of insufficient evidence.’
      • ‘They were released from custody over the weekend on the orders of a District Judge at Manchester Magistrates Court.’
      • ‘A High Court judge made an order which will result in the twins being returned to Missouri in the United States where they were born.’
      • ‘However, added the mayor, city hall will naturally respect the court's order, whatever it may be.’
      • ‘He was also made the subject of a legal order, which forced him to refrain from any discussion whatsoever of the proceedings.’
      arbitration, refereeing, umpiring
      View synonyms
    4. 2.4A written direction to pay money or deliver property.
      • ‘The clearing banks' role in the payment and collection of cheques and other payment orders is directly related to one of their main activities, namely the maintenance of current accounts.’
      • ‘He was held to be in breach of fiduciary duty when he misappropriated funds from the company's bank account by fraudulently altering the name of the payee on a payment order addressed to the bank.’
      voucher, coupon, chit, docket, stamp, credit note, iou
      View synonyms
  • 3A particular social, political, or economic system.

    ‘they were dedicated to overthrowing the established order’
    • ‘The fall of the old order was seen to be in the best interests of the country.’
    • ‘the very fact of the revolution - a popular rising against the established order - placed Louis XVI beyond the scope and protection of the new regime.’
    • ‘They aimed to achieve a complete break from the old order of nation-states, and to create a federal constitution for Europe.’
    • ‘They want a social, political and economic order in which they can feel safe - and empowered.’
    • ‘The incoming industrial order is designed to correct the shortcomings of the old.’
    • ‘It is rather a political order which supports the survival of weak states.’
    • ‘As to the economic order, there was to be no going back, and no second chances.’
    • ‘Continued concern about its effect on the world's future political and economic order still remains.’
    • ‘New technology always challenges the established order, and eventually a new equilibrium is reached.’
    • ‘A political order that produces a choice between two such candidates has lost all credibility.’
    • ‘He has his mind on overthrowing the old order, she is concerned with her own emotional and financial security.’
    • ‘The victories of the Revolutionary and imperial armies reshaped the European order.’
    • ‘The most radical workers and peasants, and many of the young conscripts, wanted to use their strength to overthrow the old order.’
    • ‘An important political component of the post-war order was the United Nations.’
    • ‘It would surely work to maintain the old order and to keep Everything In Its Proper Place.’
    • ‘There is a real revolutionary process under way, aiming to overturn the existing political and economic order.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the very presence of democratic institutions and values can be seen as a threat by some established social and political orders.’
    • ‘These policies have usurped traditional Maori authority while denying Maori a significant position in the newly established political and social orders.’
    • ‘This partially explains why the powerful challenges to the corporate order in the postwar period overwhelmingly failed.’
    • ‘A new political and economic order was quickly installed.’
    system, class system, hierarchy, pecking order, grouping, grading, ranking, scale
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1A social class.
      ‘the upper social orders’
      • ‘As is well known, the months preceding the declaration of August 4 were filled with rancor between the commoners and the privileged orders.’
      • ‘Such a vision certainly harked back to the Ancien Régime conception of a society of ranks and orders.’
      • ‘Additional studies comparing how the war affected families of different social orders would undoubtedly shed more light on this question.’
      • ‘They conclude that military service temporarily removed the young, labouring men who dominated the criminal orders, only to return them, duly brutalised, at the war's end.’
      • ‘Those farmers who remained on the land became more militant, resulting in the loss of power by the old rural upper orders.’
      • ‘The medieval manor therefore sustained the three orders of medieval society: those who pray, those who fight, and those who work.’
      • ‘Concerned citizens became dismayed at the suffering among what they then called the lower social orders.’
      • ‘They were by no means from the upper orders, these were street kids in Los Angeles.’
      • ‘The economic factors of renewed urbanization affected all orders of European society.’
      • ‘The magazine was clearly bought by those of the lower social orders who sought to improve themselves, and such people got little encouragement from most of the intellectual community.’
      class, level, rank, caste, grade, degree, position, station, category
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    2. 3.2A rank in the Christian ministry, especially that of bishop, priest, or deacon.
      • ‘The diaconate is a full and analogous order of ordained ministry to which both men and women are called by God.’
      • ‘I will look also at some intriguing hints that Rome may be reconsidering its position that Anglican ministerial orders are null and void.’
      • ‘These two men struggled with the validity of Anglican orders and sacramental theology.’
      • ‘In the past we've split over such things as the punctuation of the creeds, the orders of ministry and the nature of communion.’
    3. 3.3The rank of a member of the clergy or an ordained minister of the Church.
      ‘he took priest's orders’
      See also holy orders
      • ‘Watson had been ordained a deacon in 1856 and he took priest's orders two years later.’
      • ‘He was educated at Cambridge, took priest's orders, and became known as a preacher.’
      • ‘He became a monk and may have taken deacon's orders.’
      • ‘After taking orders in 1782, he became the perpetual curate of Barton-under-Needwood in 1783.’
    4. 3.4Theology Any of the nine grades of angelic beings in the celestial hierarchy as formulated by Pseudo-Dionysius.
      • ‘Hierarchies and litanies were emphasized: the nine orders of the angels, the Joys and Sorrows of the Virgin.’
      • ‘Angels, however, the lowest of the nine orders, do not have wings.’
  • 4A society of monks, nuns, or friars living under the same religious, moral, and social regulations and discipline.

    ‘the Franciscan Order’
    • ‘A significant number of the monks have earned university degrees before joining the order.’
    • ‘He considered joining a monastic order but was persuaded by his parish priest to enter the secular clergy.’
    • ‘In 1600 he went to Salamanca, where he joined the Franciscan Order.’
    • ‘I joined the order as a First Degree member in October and have developed mixed feelings since then.’
    • ‘There are many private schools, run primarily by Catholic religious orders.’
    • ‘Mersenne continued his education within the order at Nigeon and then at Meaux.’
    • ‘He has attended several retreats at the abbey, run by the Catholic order of Benedictine monks.’
    • ‘The church might even consider limiting bishops to two five-year terms, as many religious orders do for their leaders.’
    • ‘Luigi Guido Grandi was a member of the order of the Camaldolites.’
    • ‘For four centuries it was home to members of the Cistercian order, whose lives were dominated by manual labour and prayer.’
    • ‘In the 1200s, members of new religious orders, called friars, began to work among the people.’
    • ‘In the past the members of strict religious orders took the discipline as a matter of course.’
    • ‘Catholic schools tend to be run by religious orders, such as the Holy Ghosts, Jesuits and Loreto nuns.’
    • ‘He entered the Jesuit order in 1726 going to the Jesuit College in Piacenza in 1728 to teach literature.’
    • ‘Monks from the various orders in Europe had flocked to England to set up religious houses.’
    • ‘Between the ninth and eleventh centuries the Benedictines and other monastic orders expanded across Europe.’
    • ‘Luxembourg has also traditionally been the home of a great number of convents and religious orders, a number that has dwindled since the last century.’
    • ‘With the exception of some religious orders in which monks vow to live in solitude, most of us need other people to add texture to our lives.’
    • ‘Among the religious orders, only the friars had a vocation that by its very nature embraced the seriously poor and, indeed, the utterly destitute in the regular course of events.’
    • ‘It expelled religious orders from the country and disestablished the Roman Catholic church.’
    community, brotherhood, sisterhood
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    1. 4.1historical A society of knights bound by a common rule of life and having a combined military and monastic character.
      ‘the Templars were also known as the Order of Christ’
      • ‘Amongst the most famous of these crusader orders were the Order of the Knights Templar.’
      • ‘The Order of the Knights Templar was formed during the crusades when many knights and squires set out for the Holy Land.’
      • ‘The military orders, and the knights under King John put up a valiant defense and saved what they could of the army.’
      • ‘Only the strong leadership of John and the military orders saved the army at all; even so, thousands died that day’
      • ‘Feudalism was abolished along with the Inquisition and the Church's military orders, and two-thirds of monasteries and convents were dissolved.’
    2. 4.2An institution founded by a monarch along the lines of a medieval crusading monastic order for the purpose of honouring meritorious conduct.
      • ‘He was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honour by his second country in 1896 and a commander of the order in 1933.’
      • ‘In 1998 he was awarded the Order of the White Eagle, Poland's highest honour.’
      • ‘The order became defunct with the death of its last knight, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, in 1974.’
    3. 4.3The insignia worn by members of an order of honour or merit.
    4. 4.4A Masonic or similar fraternity.
      • ‘The lobby in Westminster is believed by many to have been based originally on a Masonic order.’
      • ‘Freemasonry, though banned from time to time, flourished in Russia, and the Masonic orders had a wide range of members.’
      organization, association, society, fellowship, body, fraternity, confraternity, sorority, brotherhood, sisterhood, lodge, guild, league, union, club
      View synonyms
  • 5[in singular] The quality or nature of something.

    ‘poetry of the highest order’
    • ‘Science and technology can achieve impressive technological feats like going to the moon - but the real problems we face today are of a very different order.’
    • ‘The truth is that we are simply not good enough to beat a team playing rugby of a different order to ours.’
    • ‘The reality of this world is that there is nothing for free and everything of this order comes at a cost.’
    • ‘Her vibrancy, dramatic range and willowy elegance make her a classical ballerina of the highest order.’
    • ‘It has more than adequate accuracy for that purpose and a high order of reliability.’
    • ‘This is journalism of a high order in which the reporter creates a vista that involves the reader.’
    • ‘Talent of this order is rare, and I have a feeling that Paul is not through with surprising us.’
    type, kind, sort, nature, variety, ilk, genre, cast, style, brand, vintage
    View synonyms
    1. 5.1[with adjective]The overall state or condition of something.
      ‘the house had only just been vacated and was in good order’
      • ‘When my room was in perfect order and everything was exactly how I wanted it we left the room.’
      • ‘We urge all readers to get their financial affairs in good order right now.’
      • ‘The field was in good order but the damp conditions hampered the accuracy of the passing between sides.’
      • ‘They train police in the use of screening devices and ensure the equipment is in good order.’
      • ‘If we don't keep the hinges oiled and everything in working order, it will just seize up on you.’
      • ‘All are very much appreciated, however it is important that all items should be clean and in good serviceable order.’
      • ‘Away from the administrative side, Logan feels everything is in perfect order.’
      • ‘Make occasional checks to ensure the equipment is in good order.’
      • ‘Perform quarterly or annual home checkups to make sure everything is in working order.’
      • ‘The local committee leave no stone unturned to ensure that everything is in perfect order for the event.’
      • ‘It is now back in Wales, being restored to working order for service on the re-opened Welsh Highland Railway.’
      • ‘The car was in excellent running order having been fully serviced by Jim, Juliette and Steffan the night before.’
      • ‘Paramount has done a fine job at making sure that everything is in working order in this picture.’
      • ‘The organizing committee have put much work and effort into making sure everything is in perfect order for the day.’
      • ‘She is young and tough, the servants respect her, and everything is in impeccable order.’
      condition, state, repair, shape, situation
      View synonyms
  • 6Biology
    A principal taxonomic category that ranks below class and above family.

    ‘the higher orders of insects’
    • ‘This epoch is characterized by the appearance of all of the presently existing orders and families, and many of the existing genera of mammals.’
    • ‘The rhinoceros beetle is one of the largest members of the order Coleoptera.’
    • ‘Genera are the smallest basic groups of related species; higher up on the taxonomic ladder, orders encompass hundreds of genera.’
    • ‘There are approximately 650 to 700 extant species of cephalopods in two subclasses and five orders.’
    • ‘All spiders are members of the arachnid order Araneae, which is divided into two suborders.’
    taxonomic group, class, subclass, family, species, breed
    View synonyms
  • 7Any of the five classical styles of architecture (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan, and Composite) based on the proportions of columns and the style of their decoration.

    • ‘The interior of Syon Hall has a Doric order with high attic and flat-beamed ceiling.’
    • ‘These columns are of different orders on each storey (Tuscan at the bottom, then Ionic, with Corinthian columns in the third storey).’
    • ‘The Pantheon in Rome is an ideal case study for understanding classical space, orders, composition, light, and character.’
    • ‘Work out for yourself the differences between Corinthian, Ionic and Doric orders.’
    • ‘They reflect his keen appreciation of modern design, married with his admiration for classical orders.’
    • ‘The former asylum is a stately quadrangular building of stone with pillars of the Doric order.’
    1. 7.1Any style of architecture subject to uniform established proportions.
  • 8Military
    [mass noun], [with modifier] Equipment or uniform for a specified purpose or of a specified type.

    ‘the platoon changed from drill order into PT kit’
    • ‘They normally wear Home Service review order dress as would have been worn on garrison duties and manoeuvres during the latter part of the nineteenth century.’
    • ‘Behind them, dressed in review order, marched the infantry of the British Army.’
    1. 8.1The position in which a rifle is held after ordering arms.
      See order arms below
  • 9Mathematics
    The degree of complexity of an equation, expression, etc., as denoted by an ordinal number.

    • ‘The predictor variables were entered in the same order for both equations.’
    • ‘The transient equations for the second orders of the identity coefficients are too complicated to solve.’
    • ‘This integral was introduced in a paper on differential equations of the second order which he wrote in 1870.’
    • ‘His research was mostly on second order ordinary differential equations.’
    • ‘In the study of differential equations his methods of lowering the order of an equation and separating variables were important.’
    1. 9.1The number of differentiations required to reach the highest derivative in a differential equation.
    2. 9.2The number of elements in a finite group.
      • ‘Cauchy had already proved that a group whose order is divisible by a prime p has an element of order p.’
      • ‘He received his doctorate for a thesis entitled Contributions to the theory of integral functions of finite order in 1929.’
      • ‘He examines orders of elements and proves (although not in this notation) that there is a subgroup for every number dividing the order of a cyclic group.’
    3. 9.3The number of rows or columns in a square matrix.


  • 1[reporting verb] Give an authoritative instruction to do something.

    [with object and infinitive] ‘she ordered me to leave’
    [with direct speech] ‘‘Stop frowning,’ he ordered’
    [with clause] ‘he ordered that the ship be abandoned’
    [with object] ‘the judge ordered a retrial’
    • ‘‘Stop the car!’ he ordered.’
    • ‘Their commanding officer ordered them to stop because this was disrespectful.’
    • ‘Officers will have the power to order gangs of yobs to disperse or face arrest.’
    • ‘Bosses at Metrolink have also ordered ticket inspectors to take a tough line against anyone caught without a ticket.’
    • ‘New chairman John Robinson has since ordered a review of compensation arrangements for senior managers.’
    • ‘As the firefight continues, the commander orders his men to conserve ammunition.’
    • ‘The government responded by imposing a state of emergency in late November and ordering its regular army to fight the rebels.’
    • ‘British commanders were so confident they ordered their troops to walk slowly towards the German lines.’
    • ‘And Bingley magistrates yesterday ordered him to pay what he owed at a rate of £1, 000 a month.’
    • ‘The judge also ordered the defendant to attend an alcohol awareness programme.’
    • ‘His behaviour is said to have included regularly dressing down officers in front of other staff and ordering them to do menial tasks when they were tired.’
    • ‘He was taken before a judge last Thursday who ordered that he be held in custody.’
    • ‘Air marshals pursued and ordered the passenger to get down on the ground.’
    • ‘Just when he felt he could go no farther, his lieutenant ordered the unit to drop their 100 lb backpacks.’
    • ‘The judge ordered that he and his family be placed in a witness protection programme.’
    • ‘Hartlepool magistrates yesterday ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the cannabis plants.’
    • ‘Every person is hereby ordered to immediately evacuate the City of New Orleans.’
    • ‘The judge ordered an inquiry into the incident.’
    • ‘‘Begin the treatment,’ the doctor ordered sharply.’
    • ‘Brown was also ordered by the court to pay £250 compensation and £65 costs.’
    instruct, command, direct, enjoin, give the order to, give the command to, tell, require, charge, adjure
    decree, ordain, rule, legislate, lay down, dictate, prescribe, pronounce, determine
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with object]Continually tell someone to do things in an overbearing way.
      ‘she resented being ordered about’
      • ‘Later, I saw him screaming at male crew members, ordering them about and obviously enjoying their subservience and the fact that they couldn't answer him back.’
      • ‘She resented the way the commander and his men ordered her around and treated her like a child.’
      • ‘Don't you hate it when he orders you around like that?’
      • ‘And then an officer walks by me and starts ordering me around.’
      • ‘Despite being so much younger than her, he has a real public school cockiness and she loves the way he orders her about.’
      • ‘She has, on repeated occasions, made my brother's life a misery by ordering him around like a kid and telling him off despite the fact that he's 29.’
      • ‘You treat us as though we're nothing more than your lackeys; constantly ordering us around.’
      • ‘Being a juvenile, he'd have to put up with people ordering him around for another three or four years.’
      • ‘She'd realized that Paige had a way of making people do things her way without ordering them about.’
      • ‘At the same time, a new beefed-up universities quango will take on a far stronger supervisory role, and academic leaders fear this will lead to ministers being able to order them around.’
      • ‘The two boys take pleasure in ordering Johnny around.’
      • ‘You don't even know who we are, and you're ordering us around!’
      • ‘I'm not ordering you around, it's just a suggestion.’
      • ‘Look here Stevie, you don't order me around like that.’
      • ‘That was the other thing, Sonia never said please or thank you, as if my willingness to help somehow entitled her to order me around.’
      • ‘I don't think so Mrs. Lincoln, no one orders me around.’
      • ‘I'm as good as you are, pal; don't think ye can order me about just because I'm a waiter!’
      • ‘It seemed that he took much pleasure in ordering me around.’
      tell someone what to do, give orders to, boss about, boss around, bully, lord it over, dictate to, ride roughshod over, dominate, domineer, browbeat
      throw one's weight about, throw one's weight around, lay down the law
      push about, push around
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2North American [with object and complement]Command (something) to be done or (someone) to be treated in a particular way.
      ‘he ordered the anchor dropped’
      • ‘The court ordered him dishonorably discharged and sent to military prison for ten years.’
      • ‘They ordered the offshore funds returned to the United States.’
      • ‘He ordered foreign investment and competition dropped.’
      • ‘Expressing concerns about vandalism, the landlord ordered the artwork removed.’
  • 2[with object] Request (something) to be made, supplied, or served.

    ‘my mate ordered the tickets last week’
    [with two objects] ‘I asked the security guard to order me a taxi’
    [no object] ‘are you ready to order, sir?’
    • ‘I've just ordered a pizza to go and collect in 10 minutes or so.’
    • ‘She snuck a glance in the direction of the bar but Nathan was busy ordering their drinks.’
    • ‘I order shoes straight from Manolo Blahnik, or I buy them from Harrods.’
    • ‘As we were waiting for our food, we decided to order a few pitchers of beer to pass the time.’
    • ‘The waitress comes along to see if we would like to order a drink and he perused the wine list.’
    • ‘When the maître d' took them to their table, Trent immediately ordered a bottle of red wine.’
    • ‘Shoppers will be able to order groceries on the internet, then collect them at their leisure.’
    • ‘She was 15 and alone in a country where she barely knew how to order a cup of coffee.’
    • ‘She ordered the lobster, crab and prawn terrine.’
    • ‘I ordered goods for delivery by a specific date, which has since passed.’
    • ‘It is always a good sign when there is so much you want to taste that you have great trouble deciding what to order.’
    • ‘I ordered it out of the catalog two weeks ago and I haven't heard a word about it since.’
    • ‘Five hundred copies have already been ordered in advance.’
    • ‘The best thing about it was that if they didn't have a particular album, they'd order it for you from a catalogue.’
    • ‘I almost always order a grilled sole served with green beans or spinach.’
    • ‘Jen had just ordered her pizza and went outside to enjoy the cold February air.’
    • ‘In a nutshell, if you want to stay in the business, all your guests have to be treated like VIPs - not just the ones ordering champagne and foie gras.’
    • ‘The director promptly ordered a glass of kir royale, and we followed his lead.’
    • ‘I went back to the bar to order the food, only to be informed that they finished serving food an hour ago.’
    • ‘He likes to be able to get by in new countries, and where better to start than to learn how to order drinks in bars?’
    request, apply for, send away for, send off for, write off for, put in an order for, place an order for, requisition
    View synonyms
  • 3[with object] Arrange (something) in a methodical way.

    ‘all entries are ordered by date’
    [as adjectivein combination] ‘her normally well-ordered life’
    • ‘In fact one of the characteristics of Dietrich as a thinker is the systematic way in which he not only orders his thoughts but his treatises as well.’
    • ‘She sat on the edge of her bed, trying to order her thoughts.’
    • ‘It's in alphabetical order, because ordering them by preference would just be too difficult.’
    • ‘As his previously well-ordered life slips away from him he loses control and his judgement deserts him.’
    • ‘I have to order my notes once, twice, three times before I can start actually using them.’
    • ‘Jenny admits that with two small children, she has to order her time very carefully.’
    • ‘The exhibition catalogue is ordered by the artists' dates of birth.’
    organize, put in order, set in order, arrange, sort out, straighten out, marshal, dispose, lay out, regulate
    View synonyms


  • by order

    • According to directions given by the proper authority.

      ‘he was released from prison by order of the court’
      • ‘Services will be curtailed while fire doors are replaced, by order of the Health and Safety Authority.’
      • ‘If the child is in care by order of a Court then it is the Court and local authority who make the decisions about who the child can see.’
      • ‘The accused were brought from Lancaster to Barrow by order of the Home Secretary.’
      • ‘His microphone had been switched off, by order of the bench, but he carried on speaking.’
      • ‘Children under the care of a local authority by voluntary agreement or by order of a court often have poor physical and mental health.’
      • ‘In 2001, the company started firing union members by order of the government.’
      • ‘He was released by order of an examining magistrate on 30 June after 44 days without access to judicial review or to his family or lawyer.’
      • ‘I am writing this in Brussels on a Sunday when no private cars are allowed in the streets, by order.’
      • ‘Captain Leghorn, after registering five missions, was grounded by order of higher headquarters until after D-Day.’
      • ‘The Government must create a new wetland on the east coast by order of the European Court to replace two lost to development in Kent and Suffolk.’
  • in order

    • 1According to a particular sequence.

      ‘list the points you intend to cover and put them in order’
      • ‘He bet £1 and as the game progressed was dealt - in order - two red aces, a five and two more red aces.’
      • ‘Although the stages of grief are described, they don't progress in order.’
      • ‘The history portion isn't always in order, which can be a bit confusing.’
      • ‘Every item needed to be kept, in order, between the correct allocated colour coded dividers.’
      • ‘But on top of that, you have to put the chronology in order here.’
      • ‘Each involves a series of specific steps, which must be done correctly and in order.’
      • ‘Aaron scrambled to pick up the papers and put them in order.’
      • ‘It's all in place, and it's simply a matter of doing things in order.’
      • ‘Keep the cheques in order, and cash them in order, and don't forget to tick each one off your list each night you get back to the hotel.’
      • ‘As a historian, she can put things in order, illuminate the past and maybe right a few wrongs.’
      in sequence, in alphabetical order, in numerical order, in order of priority, in order of merit, in order of seniority
      View synonyms
    • 2In the correct condition for operation or use.

      ‘it is the liquidator's task to put the affairs of the company in order’
      • ‘We reviewed the data management procedures and found them to be in order.’
      • ‘When purchasing land, one must be careful to ensure that the title deeds are in order and that the land has been correctly classified.’
      • ‘A two or five-year plan is better than no plan at all and you need to make sure your finances are properly in order before making a move.’
      • ‘Jon liked everything tidy and in order where he could find it, but James Hyde was a messy man.’
      • ‘Sit down this weekend, get your affairs in order, and I promise you can trim hundreds of pounds, in some cases thousands, off your annual costs.’
      • ‘The committee are sparing no effort in ensuring that everything is in order for the big day.’
      • ‘He noted with approval that the room was spotless, and everything was in order.’
      • ‘And it's just very hard if you don't have your legal affairs in order.’
      • ‘Normally, as long as all the documentation is in order you will eventually be approved.’
      • ‘Employers are only required to ask if workers' papers are in order.’
      • ‘Once that decision is made, airlines will then have a year to put their houses in order, before the new legal requirements come into force.’
      tidy, neat, neat and tidy, orderly, straight, trim, in apple-pie order, spick and span
      View synonyms
    • 3In accordance with the rules of procedure at a meeting, legislative assembly, etc.

      ‘surely it is in order for Conservative Members to put various policy options to the Prime Minister?’
      • ‘The Speaker ruled at the time that my comments were in order and that the member should withdraw.’
      • ‘There were comments made in that point of order that were not in order.’
      • ‘My recollection is that one supplementary question was ruled as being in order on that particular day.’
      • ‘Just yesterday that word was ruled in order when it was used by a Minister in answering a question in this House.’
      • ‘But ultimately it is the Speaker who must rule upon whether a question is in order.’
      • ‘I listened to Mr Mallard's question, which was not in order, and I did not allow it.’
      • ‘Did that mean that he had authority to cast it, and that the vote was in order?’
      • ‘Last week it was not in order for the Minister even to find out that simple detail.’
      • ‘But the Assembly has now determined that the Bluestone decision is quite in order and will not need further examination.’
      • ‘The Minister is responsible for his legislation, and therefore the question was in order.’
      permissible, permitted, allowed, allowable, admissible, acceptable
      View synonyms
      1. 3.1Appropriate in the circumstances.
        ‘a little bit of flattery was now in order’
        • ‘A call to the Advertising Standards Authority could be in order.’
        • ‘To put things in perspective a quick historical comparison is in order.’
        • ‘The errors in your article were significant enough that printing a correction, or at least this letter, is in order.’
        • ‘Perhaps a quick, yet enlightening, history lesson is in order.’
        • ‘A little modesty or circumspection would be in order here.’
        • ‘It occurred to me at about 3am, as I lay in bed with a raging fever and hacking cough, that perhaps a visit to a doctor was in order.’
        • ‘To understand the goals and significance of Gravity Probe B, a brief dip into the history of physics is in order.’
        • ‘After six years of a strong dollar, a correction might be in order.’
        • ‘Maybe some professional expert opinions are in order here.’
        • ‘For the reasons behind my mirth, a little history lesson is in order.’
        appropriate, fitting, suitable, right, correct, proper
        View synonyms
  • in order for (or that)

    • So that.

      ‘staff must be committed to the change in order for it to succeed’
      • ‘Councillors told us that in order for wild flowers to flourish the rich alluvial silt must be removed.’
      • ‘I think in order for a record to be commercially successful it has to get exposure from press, radio and tv as well.’
      • ‘Classes were cancelled after the school shut for a day and a half at the height of the crisis in order for security to be increased.’
      • ‘This voucher should be given to the cashier at the Royal Pavilion in order for you to receive your tickets.’
      • ‘The police had to close two lanes of the carriageway in order for the wreckage to be cleared.’
      • ‘All of these are valid questions, because in order for a bully to succeed he or she must have victims.’
      • ‘Alexander feels that, in order for the legal system to work, people must have free access to it.’
      • ‘However, unless your tenancy has run out you cannot be evicted in order for the house to be sold.’
      • ‘She added the council was pursuing the acquisition of land and property along the route in order for the scheme to go ahead.’
      • ‘Her arm will remain in a cast for a few weeks in order for her injuries to heal correctly.’
  • in order to do something

    • With the purpose of doing something.

      ‘he slouched into his seat in order to avoid drawing attention to himself’
      • ‘It is also expected to shed jobs through natural wastage in order to keep costs down.’
      • ‘Also, do you need to have a credit history with a bank in order to take out a loan?’
      • ‘I pay road tax and other taxes in order to use the highway and this is now being denied.’
      • ‘Users must set up an online account in order to view, save and print documents.’
      • ‘This creates a problem for a company that needs to maximise its profits in order to grow.’
      • ‘We have velux windows in the office and in order to see out we have to scrape the snow off them.’
      • ‘I set up this blog in order to keep my friends and family informed of my time in Hanoi.’
      • ‘It is an individual sport where you have to handle the pressure in order to succeed.’
      • ‘Then there is the huge number of people who have borrowed to the hilt in order to secure a home.’
      • ‘Previously they had to find a job and apply for a work permit in order to stay in this country.’
  • of the order of

    • 1Approximately.

      ‘sales increases are of the order of 20 per cent’
      • ‘In the late seventeenth century, the average number of copper coins minted annually was of the order of two to three hundred million; by the early nineteenth century this had increased eightfold.’
      • ‘It is reasonable to assume that in due course he will have an earning capacity of the order of £10,000 per annum, but that it will take three years before he is likely to achieve that level of earnings.’
      • ‘We're looking at the risk of destabilisation of the West Antarctic ice sheet, or a very rapid decay of the ice sheet, leading to sea rise over centuries of the order of 6 or 7 metres or so.’
      • ‘The disease is prevalent worldwide and in 1993, the cost of health care for COPD was estimated to be of the order of $15 billion.’
      • ‘Since his return to work his income had substantially increased year by year such that by 1999 it was of the order of £425, 250 p.a. gross.’
      • ‘The amount directly at stake is not especially large, the principal sum being of the order of $114,000.’
      • ‘The number of days taken as sick, and the cost, is of the order of 70 percent up on what it was for the same period of time last year.’
      • ‘For any real impact to be made, reductions in emissions of the order of 60 per cent are needed now.’
      • ‘At this rate, inflation of the order of 10 percent is pretty much inevitable.’
      • ‘We estimate that total area of infestation is only of the order of about 350 hectares and that's spread along about 60, 70 or so isolated populations.’
      roughly, approximately, about, around, just about, round about, or so, or thereabouts, more or less, in the neighbourhood of, in the region of, in the area of, in the vicinity of, something like, in round numbers, rounded down, rounded up
      near to, close to, nearly, not far off, almost, approaching
      getting on for
      pushing, as near as dammit
      in the ballpark of
      View synonyms
    • 2Mathematics
      Having the order of magnitude specified by.

      • ‘Integral-expressing K562 cells were pushed by a force of the order of 100 pN against surfaces coated with iibronectin fragments.’
      • ‘With N of the order of 100 for 20dB sensitivity improvement, the total work of acquisition rises to some five orders of magnitude greater.’
      • ‘A spectrograph/diode array system accomplishes the detection with a signal-to-noise ratio of the order of 105.’
  • on order

    • (of goods) requested but not yet received from the supplier or manufacturer.

      ‘the helicopters have been on order for two years’
      • ‘They'd sold the last one that morning, but they put one on order for me, so I should be able to get it sometime next week.’
      • ‘And congratulations on the book: I've got a copy on order today.’
      • ‘Paul Cheevers, District Manager for Iarnrod Eireann in Waterford said that the steel girders were on order and were due to be put in place over the weekend.’
      • ‘Service is scheduled to begin in October 2005 and 29 more trains are on order.’
      • ‘The new Learning Zone has 15 new computers and four more are on order which are adapted for people with disabilities.’
      • ‘He was not aware of how many buses the factory had on order.’
      • ‘Further investment was planned with an extra 10 rapid-response vehicles on order on top of 18 already sent out on the roads in the last year.’
      • ‘We've a new metal shed on order too, so hopefully that will arrive soon.’
      • ‘The firm currently operates four vessels - three bulk carriers and an oil tanker - and has a fifth on order at Guangzhou Shipyard International.’
      • ‘A county council spokesperson confirmed that new signs were on order and would be installed as soon as they arrived.’
  • on the order of

    • 1Approximately.

      • ‘Her appearance fee was on the order of 10,000 yuan or more.’
      • ‘The percentage of people who are university graduates in this country is still on the order of perhaps 25 percent of the adult population.’
      • ‘If drugs were sold in a competitive market, and the government funded research, the savings would be on the order of $120 billion a year.’
      • ‘Some estimates put the total cost of the storm, including both property damage and economic losses, on the order of $100 billion.’
      • ‘Private economists at Goldman Sachs expect the deficits will be on the order of $300 to $375 billion.’
      • ‘The pack's annual operating budget is on the order of $2000.’
      • ‘The whole operation appears to have cost on the order of $500,000.’
      • ‘Agricultural subsidies cost something on the order of $1 billion a day in Western countries.’
      • ‘Even if economic output shrinks by 2 % this quarter, productivity would still grow on the order of 2 %.’
      • ‘Fahrenheit 9/11 has sold something on the order of 13 million tickets.’
    • 2Similar to.

      ‘singers on the order of Janis Joplin’
      • ‘Winkler's film seems to aspire to a quirky social commentary on the order of American Beauty.’
      • ‘Mitchell grew up in a home where people on the order of Thornton Wilder, Dylan Thomas and T.S. Eliot came to visit.’
      • ‘I don't think the current malaise is a catastrophe on the order of Black Monday.’
      • ‘While not a classic on the order of 1991, this was a memorable World Series, filled with some strange and often surreal moments.’
  • order! (or order! order!)

    • A call for silence or the observance of the prescribed procedures by someone in charge of a meeting, legislative assembly, etc.

      • ‘‘Order! ‘the judge yelled again, this time striking her gavel against a small wooden block.’
      • ‘We have had the entire Government front bench calling out, and all you did was to call out ‘Order!’’
  • order arms

    • Hold a rifle with its butt on the ground close to one's right side.

      • ‘The three soldiers ordered arms and went on about their duties and the gates began to close.’
      • ‘On the command ‘Sentries Pass,’ I saluted, ordered arms and stood at ease.’
  • order of battle

    • The units, formations, and equipment of a military force.

      • ‘Few old county infantry regiments remain in the British Army order of battle, but the Duke of Wellington's Regiment is proudly celebrating that very status after 300 years.’
      • ‘Although originally set up to resolve problems arising from the interaction of the forces involved, the missions quickly adopted an intelligence collection objective - mainly to report on order of battle.’
      • ‘This is the Navy's premier means of maintaining their electronic order of battle.’
      • ‘They knew when it would occur and what the German order of battle would be.’
      • ‘Perhaps ULTRA's greatest contribution to victory in the west was its cumulative accretion of details about the German order of battle.’
      • ‘The purpose is to obtain information regarding an adversary's order of battle, capabilities, plans, attitudes, and intentions.’
      • ‘American historians were disputing basic issues, such as the enemy order of battle, decades after the conflict came to an end.’
      • ‘Scobell is credited with providing valuable intelligence on Confederate order of battle, status of supplies, and troop morale and movements.’
      • ‘In September 1943 she filed a stunningly accurate report on the German missile order of battle.’
      • ‘Intelligence on both the Turkish order of battle and on the topography of Gallipoli was all but non-existent.’
  • the order of the day

    • 1The prevailing custom or state of affairs.

      ‘on Sundays, a black suit was the order of the day’
      ‘confusion would seem to be the order of the day’
      • ‘BIG hair was the order of the day for models showing off British designer John Galliano's ready-to-wear collection at the end of Paris fashion week.’
      • ‘While everywhere else spending cuts are now the order of the day, Darmstadt has an annual arts budget of DM 58.3 million.’
      • ‘In the past, the US anti-doping system was a bit of a joke, with self-regulation the order of the day among professional sports.’
      • ‘The chef remains tight-lipped as to the recipe, but you can rest assured that, like everything at Grassroots, high quality, impeccable ingredients will be the order of the day.’
      • ‘Gentle pastel colours are the order of the day, and wherever you are in the building, you're close to a source of natural light.’
      • ‘This is the stark reality in a city where cutthroat competition between textile businesses is the order of the day.’
      • ‘Stunning dresses in vibrant shades were the order of the day, with Teri Hatcher's Greek-style midnight blue number carrying off the style prizes.’
      • ‘Indoors, there is a feeling of isolation from the real world - it is almost like going back in time to a more genteel era, when peace and quiet and high standards of service were the order of the day.’
      • ‘As the grey skies descend once again, reminding us all that it's still really winter, navel-gazing has become the order of the day.’
      • ‘The affair probably dates back to the hedonistic days, of the late Eighties and early Nineties when conspicuous consumption was the order of the day.’
      • ‘When the Great Depression came in 1929 and business failures became the order of the day Holt, like everyone else, was placed under tremendous pressure.’
      predominant, prevalent, current, customary, established, common, widespread, preponderant, in force, in effect, popular
      the in thing
      View synonyms
    • 2(in a legislature) the business to be considered on a particular day.

  • orders are orders

    • Commands must be obeyed, however much one may disagree with them.

      ‘orders are orders and you're only doing your duty’
      • ‘It's a shame that such beauty has to be wasted, but orders are orders.’
      • ‘I'm really sorry about this but orders are orders,’ Tommy said with a slight smile.’
      • ‘But orders are orders, I'm sure after so many years, you understand.’
      • ‘I don't see the point, it's not like the grass is gonna grow much in this weather, but orders are orders.’
      • ‘But orders are orders, and it was a matter of honor.’
  • order to view

    • An estate agent's request to an occupier to allow inspection of their premises by a client.

  • out of order

    • 1(of a device) not working properly or at all.

      ‘the elevator was out of order’
      • ‘BT told us our telephone would be out of order until July 8.’
      • ‘Mind you, my nearest proper cashpoint - at the station - has been out of order for six months.’
      • ‘My brother-in-law had a phone installed three weeks ago and it has been out of order longer than it has been usable.’
      • ‘The bleedin ticket machine is out of order too.’
      • ‘Then when I got to the office I found that the lift was out of order and that I'd have to climb all the way to the 4th floor using the stairs.’
      • ‘Housing bosses have apologised to residents of a Bradford 14 storey tower block over a lift which has been out of order for seven months.’
      • ‘The elevator is constantly out of order; nobody has ever tried to fix it.’
      • ‘BT engineers are working round the clock to restore services, but about 2,400 lines are still out of order.’
      • ‘The idea of climbing five stories of stairs made his head spin, and the elevator was out of order.’
      • ‘They also claim residents dare not use the lift because it continually breaks down, and most of the intercoms linked to the building's entry system are out of order.’
      not working, not in working order, not functioning, broken, broken-down, out of service, out of commission, acting up, unserviceable, faulty, defective, non-functional, inoperative, in disrepair
      View synonyms
    • 2Not in the correct sequence.

      ‘he recorded the seven pieces out of order’
      • ‘It feels like the sequence is out of order with the rest of the movie.’
      • ‘This is an old man remembering his life: scenes appear out of order.’
      • ‘The only way I could be more intrigued with it would probably be if it had been released in bits and pieces, out of order, and left as clues all over the internet.’
      • ‘It is like being in an art gallery; the reader can read the pieces in order, out of order, any way that excites.’
      • ‘At first I thought it might be a problem with sequencing so I tried playing the record out of order.’
      • ‘At Midway in 1942, Navy pilots trained to attack in a precisely choreographed sequence ignored their instructions and attacked out of order.’
      • ‘It was Fiona's first day at Nursery, so his weekday morning routine was out of order already, and I put much of his bad humour down to that fact.’
      • ‘His books do read best chronologically as he always has running storylines, but I've read them out of order and it's no great problem.’
    • 3Not according to the rules of a meeting, legislative assembly, etc.

      ‘he ruled the objection out of order’
      • ‘An earlier request by his supporters for an extraordinary general meeting was ruled out of order because it had not been submitted in accordance with party rules.’
      • ‘The Republicans, ruling the amendment out of order, defeated it in a party-line vote of 222-200.’
      • ‘I ruled subsequent interjections out of order.’
      • ‘Despite being ruled out of order on several occasions Dr Cowley continued to address the point and was eventually dismissed amid uproar.’
      • ‘The word ‘duplicitous’ has been ruled out of order on a number of occasions in this House, and my view is that the expression the member used is so close to that as to be the same.’
      • ‘In the past, moves to protect the environment have been ruled out of order because of trade legislation.’
      • ‘Someone attempted to ask a question and initially the Speaker in his wisdom ruled it out of order, but upon reflection he allowed it.’
      • ‘Even if that point were correct, I suggest that the question is out of order on another ground.’
      • ‘The amendments in the name of Dr Nick Smith have been ruled out of order as they are inconsistent with the previous decision of the Committee.’
      • ‘I think that remark should be ruled out of order.’
      1. 3.1British informal (of a person or their behaviour) unacceptable or wrong.
        ‘Chris was well out of order’
        • ‘Mind you, as an old man I'd say this was well out of order.’
        • ‘The referee stopped the fight early and he was out of order because I could have carried on.’
        • ‘‘They were totally out of order in the way they spoke to everybody,’ he said.’
        • ‘His behaviour in front of the children was out of order.’
        • ‘There's going to be a little comeback this time, because enough of us feel that Senior Manager is bang out of order on several counts.’
        • ‘O'Connell was out of order and deserved the red card.’
        • ‘A 15 per cent council tax rise is well out of order, especially if it includes spending £2.7 million on an art museum.’
        • ‘He walked close up to the manager and said: ‘You're out of order.’’
        • ‘Some of the things he was saying concerning the Make Poverty History Campaign were completely out of order.’
        • ‘A Warminster man admitted his drunken behaviour had been out of order when he appeared before magistrates.’
        unacceptable, unfair, unjust, unjustified, uncalled for, below the belt, out of turn, not done, unreasonable, unwarranted, unnecessary, wrong, beyond the pale, Improper, irregular
        View synonyms
  • to order

    • According to a customer's particular requirements.

      ‘the jumpers are knitted to order’
      • ‘Thieves have been snatching luxury cars in Bedford to order, police are warning.’
      • ‘Rare pieces are stolen to order by gangs who use the works to launder money.’
      • ‘The gang cruised the streets to find high performance luxury cars stolen to order for the job.’
      • ‘He thinks the animals were stolen to order - but the rustlers bungled the job in the dark.’
      • ‘It is likely the jewels were stolen to order, and they could well have been offloaded by now.’
      • ‘Service is meticulous and as far as we could tell the food was prepared to order.’
      • ‘Experts believe some of the football memorabilia could have been stolen to order.’
      • ‘Clearly our choices were being cooked to order so there was a delay before the food arrived.’
      • ‘More memorable, however, is the gutsy food, cooked to order and served at a relaxed pace.’
      • ‘A gang of thieves who steal items to order have struck at a pine furniture shop for the second time.’


Middle English: from Old French ordre, from Latin ordo, ordin- row, series, rank.