command


command
command vb Command, order, bid, enjoin, direct, instruct, charge mean to issue orders to someone to give, get, or do something.
Command and order agree in stressing the idea of authority, command implying its more formal and official exercise
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the chairman commands the undertaking— Kefauver

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and order, its more peremptory, sometimes even arbitrary, exercise; thus, a king, a military officer, the captain of a ship, commands; a landowner orders a trespasser off his premises; one is apt to resent being ordered, except by those who have a right to command. But order is used by a physician with no such connotation
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the doctor ordered outdoor exercise

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Bid in this sense is usually somewhat literary or informal; it usually implies an ordering or directing (often with a suggestion of peremptoriness) directly and by speech
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she bade him be seated

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{

he seized him by the collar and sternly bade him cease making a fool of himself— Shaw

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Enjoin, direct, and instruct are all less imperative than command or order, but they all connote expectation of obedience.
Enjoin adds to the idea of authority the implication of urging or warning; direct and instruct suggest especially business, official, or diplomatic relations, direct being perhaps the more mandatory, instruct the more formal, of the two
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a parent enjoins his children to be quiet

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the church enjoins certain duties

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the editor directed his secretary to admit no callers during a conference

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instruct an assistant to gather certain information

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St. Peter . . . enjoins us to be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks us a reason for the faith that is in us— Lowes

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why otherwise does it [the Constitution of the United States] direct the judges to take an oath to support it?— John Marshall

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Charge, chiefly a literary term, implies not only enjoining but the imposition of a task as a duty
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Mrs. Yeobright gave him the moneybags, charged him to go to Mistover— Hardy

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Gustavus . . . considered himself charged by God with the defense of the true Lutheran faith— Barr

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Analogous words: control, manage, *conduct, direct: exact, *demand, require: *force, compel, coerce, constrain, oblige
Antonyms: comply, obey
command n 1 Command, order, injunction, bidding, behest, mandate, dictate mean a direction, that must or should be obeyed, to do or not do something.
Command imputes to the person who issues the directions either unquestioned authority
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the commands of a general

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or complete control of a situation
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at the command of the intruder he held up his hands

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The term usually connotes either peremptoriness or imperativeness
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at the command of his father he returned to the house

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every request of hers he interpreted as a command

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encroachment to some extent there is by every command or prohibition— Cardozo

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Order is not always clearly distinguishable from command; it is, however, the preferred word for directions to subordinates that are instructions as well as commands; in such use it commonly implies explicitness in detail
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the troops were awaiting orders from headquarters

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in response to the principal's order, the pupils maintained silence while passing through the corridors

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refusal to recognize the authority of the emperor amounted to a refusal to take ordersPharr

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Injunction carries a weaker implication of imperativeness than the preceding words except in legal use, where it is applied to a court order commanding a person to do or more often to refrain from doing something on the penalty of being adjudged guilty of contempt of court. In general use the word stresses admonition without losing the implication of expected or demanded obedience
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the high injunction not to taste that fruit— Milton

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she carefully obeyed the injunctions laid upon her by her physician

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delivered stern injunctions

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Bidding, chiefly literary, usually implies the status of master or parent in the person who issues the orders and therefore stresses expected obedience or the fact of being obeyed thousands at his bidding speed— Milton
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at the ghostly bidding of the cloud, ... the surly summons of the sun— Aiken

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Behest is also distinctly literary and equivalent to bidding in its implications
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do his master's high behestScott

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during the war, it is true, at the behest of government agencies, many writers worked into their serials incidents and dialogue of a worthy sociological nature— Thurber

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Mandate (see also MANDATE 2) carries the strongest implication of imperativeness of all of these words, for it denotes a command or order issued by a very high, often the highest, authority. It has or has had specific applications, such as an order from a superior court or official to an inferior one or from a Roman emperor to the commander of his military forces. It is often applied to something inexorably demanded (as by the exigencies of the situation) rather than actually or verbally commanded
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he accepted the nomination, believing that his huge majority indicated a mandate from his party

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it was a bold step, for he had no legal military command, and no mandate from senate or people— Buchan

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Poe's doctrine of brevity, as a mandate laid upon poetry by the inflexible nature of things— Lowes

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Dictate basically denotes a command given orally
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he . . . received his suggestions, and bowed to his dictatesMeredith

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More often it applies to a command or authoritative judgment uttered by an inner voice (as of the conscience) or formulated in a principle or law
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the government which has a right to do an act, and has imposed on it the duty of performing that act, must, according to the dictates of reason, be allowed to select the means— John Marshall

}
{

a suspicion that . . . the moral law speaks in equivocal tones to those who listen most scrupulously for its dictatesL. P. Smith

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Analogous words: direction, instruction, charging or charge (see corresponding verbs at COMMAND): precept, ordinance, *law, statute, canon, rule
2 control, authority, *power, jurisdiction, sway, dominion
Analogous words: ascendancy, *supremacy: sovereignty (see under FREE adj)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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