be under orders

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be under orders

To be following the instructions given by a superior. I'm under orders to detain the suspect until the detective can question him.
See also: order

be under ˈorders (to do something)

have been ordered or commanded (to do something): Prisoners of war were under orders to reveal only their name, rank and number.
See also: order
References in classic literature ?
They would, indeed, have very good reason, if they did not see that I am under orders, and that 'you are a messenger, my friend, no blame belongs to you.
Curious, I called up the editors of about a dozen Catholic papers, all of whom gave the same answer to my question about why they did not use his column: "I am under orders from the bishop not to use it.
I am under orders from my doctor to take it easy but in my mind I will be running every step of the way with the competitors on Sunday.
The 16-year-old is sitting her exams and I am under orders 'not to upset her'.