A command is an order that you have to follow, as long as the person who gives it has authority over you. You don't have to comply with your friend's command that you give him all your money.

Command, which can be a noun or a verb, combines the Latin prefix com-, meaning "with," and mandāre, "to charge, enjoin," so to give someone a command is to say something with the authority that charges him to follow it. Your mother might command you to clean your room. Command can also mean a position of power, like having command of a battleship, or possession of a skill, like having a great command of video games.

Definitions of command
  1. noun
    an authoritative direction or instruction to do something
    synonyms: bid, bidding, dictation
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    a contrary command cancelling or reversing a previous command
    (often plural) a command given by a superior (e.g., a military or law enforcement officer) that must be obeyed
    charge, commission, direction, mandate
    a formal statement of a command or injunction to do something
    something that is commanded
    a formal command or admonition
    an authoritative command or request
    open sesame
    a magical command; used by Ali Baba
    marching orders
    an order from a superior officer for troops to depart
    an order to appear in person at a given place and time
    a verbal command for action
    an incorrect charge to a jury given by a judge
    type of:
    speech act
    the use of language to perform some act
  2. noun
    the power or authority to command
    “an admiral in command
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    type of:
    authorisation, authority, authorization, dominance, potency, say-so
    the power or right to give orders or make decisions
  3. noun
    a position of highest authority
    “the corporation has just undergone a change in command
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    type of:
    position, status
    the relative position or standing of things or especially persons in a society
  4. noun
    availability for use
    “the materials at the command of the potters grew”
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    type of:
    accessibility, availability, availableness, handiness
    the quality of being at hand when needed
  5. verb
    be in command of
    “The general commanded a huge army”
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    command as a general
    direct or command as an officer
    type of:
    dominate, master
    have dominance or the power to defeat over
  6. verb
    make someone do something
    synonyms: require
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    burden, charge, saddle
    impose a task upon, assign a responsibility to
    make a formal request for official services
    disallow, forbid, interdict, nix, prohibit, proscribe, veto
    command against
    burden with too much work or responsibility
    bear down
    exert a force or cause a strain upon
    deluge, flood out, overwhelm
    charge someone with too many tasks
    command solemnly
    prohibit especially by legal means or social pressure
    bar, debar, exclude
    prevent from entering; keep out
    issue an injunction
    criminalise, criminalize, illegalise, illegalize, outlaw
    declare illegal; outlaw
    type of:
    enjoin, order, say, tell
    give instructions to or direct somebody to do something with authority
  7. verb
    demand as one's due
    “This speaker commands a high fee”
    “The author commands a fair hearing from his readers”
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    type of:
    demand, exact
    claim as due or just
  8. verb
    look down on
    synonyms: dominate, overlook, overtop
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    dwarf, overshadow, shadow
    make appear small by comparison
    type of:
    be located or situated somewhere; occupy a certain position
  9. verb
    exercise authoritative control or power over
    Command the military forces”
    synonyms: control
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    engage or engross the interest or attention of beforehand or occupy urgently or obsessively
    channelise, channelize, direct, guide, head, maneuver, manoeuver, manoeuvre, point, steer
    direct the course; determine the direction of travelling
    direct (oneself) somewhere
    hold one's own
    maintain one's position and be in control of a situation
    care, deal, handle, manage
    be in charge of, act on, or dispose of
    internationalise, internationalize
    put under international control
    take and maintain control over, often by violent means
    hold sway
    be master; reign or rule
    direct or strongly influence the behavior of
    subject to rigid discipline, order, and systematization
    monopolise, monopolize
    have and control fully and exclusively
    draw rein, harness, rein, rein in
    control and direct with or as if by reins
    gain control over
    act as president
    dominate, master
    have dominance or the power to defeat over
    becharm, charm
    control by magic spells, as by practicing witchcraft
    govern, rule
    exercise authority over; as of nations
    call the shots, call the tune, wear the trousers
    exercise authority or be in charge
    bewitch, enchant, glamour, hex, jinx, witch
    cast a spell over someone or something; put a hex on someone or something
    maneuver into a dock
    ghost, haunt, obsess
    haunt like a ghost; pursue
    cause to be preoccupied
    cause to sheer
    pull over
    steer a vehicle to the side of the road
    be at or take the helm of
    direct (an aircraft) into a crosswind
    direct carefully and safely
    stand out
    steer away from shore, of ships
    turn to the right, of helms or rudders
    conduct or direct the steering of a ship or plane
    navigate, pilot
    act as the navigator in a car, plane, or vessel and plan, direct, plot the path and position of the conveyance
    canalise, canalize, channel
    direct the flow of
    corner, tree
    force a person or an animal into a position from which he cannot escape
    maneuver a vehicle into a parking space
    administer, administrate
    work in an administrative capacity; supervise or be in charge of
    organise, organize
    cause to be structured or ordered or operating according to some principle or idea
    cause to operate or function
    come to grips, get to grips
    deal with (a problem or a subject)
    dispose of
    deal with or settle
    mind, take care
    be in charge of or deal with
    bring into common action, movement, or condition
    deal with simultaneously
    deal with in a routine way
    misconduct, mishandle, mismanage
    manage badly or incompetently
    be in charge of
    carry on, conduct, deal
    direct the course of; manage or control
    subject, subjugate
    make subservient; force to submit or subdue
    sit on the throne as a ruler
    govern badly
    rule as a dictator
    have sovereign power
    deal with; usually used with a form of negation
    organize and oversee items in a collection or exhibit
    plan, manage, or direct with subtle and skillful maneuvering
  10. noun
    a military unit or region under the control of a single officer
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    ACC, Air Combat Command
    a command that is the primary provider of air combat weapon systems to the United States Air Force; operates fighter, bomber, reconnaissance, battle-management, and rescue aircraft
    AFSPC, Air Force Space Command
    a command of the United States Air Force that is responsible for defending the United States through its space and intercontinental ballistic missile operations
    type of:
    force, military force, military group, military unit
    a unit that is part of some military service
  11. noun
    great skillfulness and knowledge of some subject or activity
    “a good command of French”
    synonyms: control, mastery
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    type of:
    the state of being cognitively skillful
  12. noun
    (computer science) a line of code written as part of a computer program
    synonyms: instruction, program line, statement
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    an instruction that interrupts the program being executed
    command line
    commands that a user types in order to run an application
    (computing) an instruction that connects one part of a program or an element on a list to another program or list
    macro, macro instruction
    a single computer instruction that results in a series of instructions in machine language
    system error
    an instruction that is either not recognized by an operating system or is in violation of the procedural rules
    any instruction that works first one way and then the other; it turns something on the first time it is used and then turns it off the next time
    function call
    a call that passes control to a subroutine; after the subroutine is executed control returns to the next instruction in main program
    a link from a hypertext file to another location or file; typically activated by clicking on a highlighted word or icon at a particular location on the screen
    supervisor call instruction, system call
    an instruction that interrupts the program being executed and passes control to the supervisor
    type of:
    code, computer code
    (computer science) the symbolic arrangement of data or instructions in a computer program or the set of such instructions
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