Something that's commanding is lofty, high, or impressive. Your thirtieth-floor apartment gives you a commanding view of the city.

In the old days, noblemen built their castles up high on hills so they'd have commanding positions over the surrounding countryside: in other words, the height of the castle gave its inhabitants a certain sense of dominance, both symbolically and practically. In the 16th century, this adjective meant "nobly dignified," as a commander might be, and by about 1630, it came to mean "dominant by virtue of size or position."

Definitions of commanding
  1. adjective
    used of a height or viewpoint
    “a commanding view of the ocean”
    synonyms: dominating, overlooking
    (literal meaning) being at or having a relatively great or specific elevation or upward extension (sometimes used in combinations like `knee-high')
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