ordered by a sovereign, as if by a sovereign, or by the exigencies of a situation:
a command performance.
1250-1300; (v.) Middle Englishcoma(u)nden < Anglo-Frenchcom(m)a(u)nder,Old Frenchcomander < Medieval Latincommandāre, equivalent to Latincom-com- + mandāre to entrust, order (cf. commend); (noun) late Middle Englishcomma(u)nde < Anglo-French,Old French, noun derivative of the v.
c.1300, from O.Fr. comander "to order, enjoin," from V.L. *commandare, from L. commendare "to recommend" (see commend), alt. by influence of L. mandare "to commit, entrust" (see mandate). Replaced O.E. bebeodan. The noun is attested from 1550s. Commander in chief attested from 1650s.