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See also: Commandment


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English comaundement, from Old French comandement, from comander. See command.



commandment (countable and uncountable, plural commandments)

  1. (religion) A divinely ordained command, especially one of the Ten Commandments.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, John 13:34:
      A new commandement I giue vnto you, That yee loue one another, as I haue loued you, that yee alſo loue one another.
    • 1869, T. Valpy French, The Old Commandment New and True in Christ [] [2], Seeley, Jackson, and Halliday, page 256:
      But besides having the bent of the affections towards Him, and desiring His favour, His near presence with us, there is that great rule of His, “This is love, that we walk after His commandments.”
    • 1998, Moshe Lieber, The Fifth Commandment: Honoring Parents : Laws, Insights, Stories and Ideas[3], Mesorah Publications, →ISBN, page 30:
      Even those commandments which have a rational basis are kept by Jews only because that is God's will (Aruch HaShulchan). This lesson is encapsulated in the story of Dama ben Nesina.
  2. (archaic) Something that must be obeyed; a command or edict.
  3. (law) The offence of commanding or inducing another to violate the law.
  4. (obsolete) The act of commanding; exercise of authority.
    • 1562–1565 (date written), Thomas Smyth [i.e., Thomas Smith], “Of the Diuersities of Common Wealthes or Gouernement”, in De Republica Anglorum. The Maner of Gouernement or Policie of the Realme of England, [], London: [] Henrie Midleton for Gregorie Seton, published 1583, →OCLC, page 1:
      To rule, is vnderſtoode to haue the higheſt and ſupreme authoritie of commaundement.
    • c. 1598–1600 (date written), William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene vii], page 296:
      Speake you ſo gently? Pardon me I pray you, / I thought that all things had bin ſauage heere, / And therefore put I on the countenance / Of ſterne command'ment.

Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ Bingham, Caleb (1808) “Improprieties in Pronunciation, common among the people of New-England”, in The Child's Companion; Being a Conciſe Spelling-book [] [1], 12th edition, Boston: Manning & Loring, →OCLC, page 74.