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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
  • The police were so outgunned that they had to commandeer high-powered rifles from a local gun shop.
  • More sophisticated pirates are usually members of organized gangs that may commandeer ships and hold crews for ransom.
  • The parasites can even commandeer blood cells to help aid their survival.
  • The detailed images of alien vistas, after one pores over them for days or weeks, commandeer the imagination.
  • And when my kids inevitably commandeer the iPod for playing their games, well, they have a lot of trouble keeping earbuds in.
  • He was able to help commandeer pilots and airplanes to ferry equipment to where it was needed.
  • Helicopters were unavailable, and police had to commandeer civilian boats to reach the island.
  • Not realistic, at rush hour, to commandeer another taxi for the chase.
  • According to reports, police were attempting to commandeer a fisherman's boat to pursue the trafficker, but the fisherman refused.
  • His father was able to commandeer the knife and store it in a safe place until the police arrived.
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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