Word of the Day

Monday, March 06, 2006

countermand

\KOWN-tuhr-mand; kown-tuhr-MAND\ , transitive verb;
1.
To revoke (a former command); to cancel or rescind by giving an order contrary to one previously given.
2.
To recall or order back by a contrary order.
noun:
1.
A contrary order.
2.
Revocation of a former order or command.
Quotes:
And given the mixed results, a constitutional amendment that could countermand both the law and the original order by Vermont's Supreme Court seems unlikely.
-- Stanley Kurtz, "Florida? Try Vermont", National Review Online, November 13, 2000
Her aunt and uncle kept hoping her father would countermand his orders since his promises to her seemed to be without effect.
-- Dumas Malone, quoted in The Long Affair, by Conor Cruise O'Brien
Based in a futuristic radar room near Dulles Airport, it has become a master center, with electronic vision that sees every airplane in the system and the authority to question and, in some circumstances, countermand decisions made by individual controllers.
-- William Langewiesche, "Slam and Jam", The Atlantic, October 1997
Origin:
Countermand derives from Old French contremander, from contre-, "counter" (from Latin contra) + mander, "to command" (from Latin mandare).
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