Definition of commissionaire in US English:



  • A uniformed door attendant at a hotel, theater, or other building.

    • ‘Even the commissionaires on the door, who have been there from the days when I first started out, always give me a big welcome and I know it will tug at my heart strings when I walk down those marble halls again.’
    • ‘The imposing flight of steps outside, flanked by art deco lamp standards and a uniformed commissionaire, certainly suggests something special.’
    • ‘The place had a uniformed commissionaire, a dress circle and rude behaviour was ruthlessly stamped out by frightening torch-wielding usherettes.’
    • ‘Oddly, the entire show was performed in the foyer of the Royal Festival Hall, London, in front of a motley audience of fans, a few bystanders, some wearied commissionaires and people outside, looking in through the window.’
    • ‘The two troublemakers were eventually asked to leave by the manager and commissionaire, but not before visiting the cloakroom and then creating as much disturbance as possible on the way out.’
    • ‘He is manhandled out of the room, down a labyrinth of hallways, and then finally deposited in the lobby with a firm reminder to sign out and leave his pass with the commissionaire.’
    • ‘It is impressive both in terms of its collection and its architecture but the moment that impressed me the most was the privilege of chatting with a commissionaire as I stopped by the entrance to the main exhibits area.’
    • ‘When they retired, they found their services in demand as bank guards, security men on the wharves, at the city's warehouses and hongs, and as commissionaires at hotels, restaurants and nightclubs.’
    • ‘The mistake was made because the usual commissionaire was unavailable to raise the flag on that particular day.’
    • ‘A commissionaire guides me through heavy wooden doors, past towering marble pillars into a vast circular entrance hall covered from floor to ceiling in intricate frescos.’
    • ‘I remember one occasion, he threatened the commissionaire in reception with the sack if he didn't switch off the television!’
    • ‘Usually a busy thoroughfare, at weekends the foyer was deserted but for a commissionaire and a receptionist.’
    • ‘Just to round off my walk, the commissionaire, a white-Cuban chap with the physical presence of an elephant, challenged me at the entrance to my hotel: ‘Que quiere?’’
    • ‘Several of our guests thought that he was a hired commissionaire!’
    • ‘To access the elevator he had to collect an electronic tag from the commissionaire, who punched in its encoded number.’
    • ‘In my father's day it was much more of a command culture, commissionaires signing people in, priority for directors in the lifts.’


Mid 17th century: from French, from medieval Latin commissarius ‘person in charge’, from Latin committere ‘entrust’ (see commit).