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[kom-uh n-deer] /ˌkɒm ənˈdɪər/
verb (used with object)
to order or force into active military service.
to seize (private property) for military or other public use:
The police officer commandeered a taxi and took off after the getaway car.
to seize arbitrarily.
Origin of commandeer
1880-85; < Afrikaans kommandeer < French commander to command Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for commandeer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They went to his place, and started in to commandeer all his stuff.

    Aletta Bertram Mitford
  • Before she had finished she had had to commandeer the whole of the bed, and was weary and confused.

    The Carroll Girls Mabel Quiller-Couch
  • All were closed, but we persuaded some to open, and the good German Jew merchants let us commandeer within reason.

    A Yeoman's Letters P. T. Ross
  • He knew, too, that to commandeer a destroyer for a private errand was inadmissable.

  • Badly as boats were needed, Dave had to commandeer two of the smallest.

  • Why shouldn't he commandeer the machine and make his escape that way?

    Commander Lawless V.C. Rolf Bennett
  • I am most confident of that, since I am about to commandeer the Poet.

    The Cassowary Stanley Waterloo
British Dictionary definitions for commandeer


verb (transitive)
to seize for public or military use
to seize arbitrarily
Word Origin
C19: from Afrikaans kommandeer, from French commander to command
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for commandeer

1881, from Dutch (especially Afrikaans) kommandeeren "to command" (for military service), from French commander (see command (v.)). Related: Commandeered; commandeering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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