command

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at (one's) command

Among one's available resources or skills. With so much experience at his command, he's definitely the best candidate for the job we're trying to fill.
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be at (one's) command

To be available to help or serve one. As the resident file clerk, I am at your command! How can I help with this project?
See also: command

chain of command

The hierarchy of people with authority in a particular setting or situation. I know I can't complain to the CEO directly, but there must be someone in the chain of command that I can talk to!
See also: chain, command, of

command performance

1. A performance, such as a play, ballet, opera, etc., that is presented at the behest of royalty or a head of government. The theater troupe was always at the ready to give a command performance, should the queen so desire it.
2. By extension, any task or activity (typically outside of normal work duties) that one undertakes or performs at the request of someone in a position of authority. When I was an intern, I always had to give command performances for visiting businessmen, such as taking them out to dinner or arranging entertainment for them during their stay.
3. Any obligatory occasion or situation that one is required or expected to attend, as at the behest of an employer or person of authority. These fundraising dinners, though technically "optional," are really command performances for the members of staff.
See also: command

have a good command of (something)

To be knowledgeable about or skilled in a particular area or thing. If you don't have a good command of the course material, then you won't do well on the exam.
See also: command, good, have, of

he that cannot obey cannot command

proverb A true leader is capable of taking orders from others. Don't make that guy a manager—he never listens to anything his bosses say! And he that cannot obey cannot command.
See also: cannot, command, he, that

your wish is my command

Whatever you ask me to do, I will do it; I will happily do the thing you just asked. Usually used humorously or ironically. A: "Honey, would you get me a soda from the kitchen?" B: "Of course, my love, your wish is my command." A: "Go into the shed and fetch me my hammer." B: "Your wish is my command, oh master." A: "Don't sass me, boy, just do it!"
See also: command, wish
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

chain of command

Fig. the series or sequence of holders of responsibility in a hierarchy. The only way to get things done in the military is to follow the chain of command. Never try to go straight to the top.
See also: chain, command, of

have a good command of something

to know something well. Bill has a good command of French. Jane has a good command of economic theory.
See also: command, good, have, of

He that cannot obey cannot command.

Prov. If you want to become a leader, you should first learn how to follow someone else. Jones can't seem to do anything I ask him to. He'll never get anywhere; he that cannot obey cannot command.
See also: cannot, command, he, that
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

command performance

An occasion that one is obliged to attend, as in My boss's invitations to dinner are always a command performance. This term originally (late 1800s) denoted a theatrical or musical performance presented at the behest of a sovereign or head of state. By the 1930s it was also used figuratively for any more or less obligatory occasion or performance.
See also: command

have a good command of

Have the ability to use or control; have mastery of. For example, She has a remarkably good command of Japanese, or He had a good command of his emotions. [Mid-1600s]
See also: command, good, have, of
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

at your comˈmand

if you have a skill or an amount of something at your command, you are able to use it well and completely: With four European languages at her command, she’s thinking of working for the EU.
See also: command

be at somebody’s comˈmand

(formal) be ready to obey somebody: I’m at your command — what would you like me to do?
See also: command

your wish is my comˈmand

(humorous) I am ready to do anything you ask me to do: ‘Put the kettle on, will you?’ ‘Your wish is my command.’These are the words of the genie (= a spirit with magical powers) in the story about Aladdin in The Thousand and One Nights.
See also: command, wish
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
When I commanded my Minuteman crew, for instance, I knew that any action I took to launch missiles would result in an immediate counterattack obliterating the military base where my wife and daughters lived.
Swift rotation meant that in many cases bonds never formed between the officer and the men he commanded. "The troops began to perceive that their officers simply were not prepared to share the risk of ultimate sacrifice-and they came to despise them for it," wrote Richard Gabriel and Paul Savage in Crisis in Command.
"I commanded the 3d ID DISCOM during the initial attack into Iraq and the fall of Baghdad," said Hodge.
After having served in many NATO related commands and postings, I was selected to be chief-of-staff in the Nordic Polish Brigade which for the first time in NATO history was to be commanded by a Polish general in June 1988.
This truly multinational formation was in the NATO mission Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Bosnia commanded by a truly national division, the U.S., 1st Armor Division (from Germany) commanded by Major General Ellis.
In addition to flying 161 combat missions in Southeast Asia, Martin commanded the 67th Tactical Fighter Squadron, the 479th Tactical Training Wing, and the 33rd and 1st fighter wings.
In Germany during the 1980s he commanded a tank battalion and armored brigade of the 3d Infantry Division and was Chief of Staff, 3d Armored Division astride the Fulda Gap.
He commanded the 407th Air Refueling Squadron, Loring AFB, the 47th Operations Group at Laughlin AFB, and the 19th Air Refueling Wing, Robins AFB.
From 1989 to 1991, Christianson commanded the 725th Main Support Battalion, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
The 840th Transportation Battalion, commanded by Lt.
He commanded three Air Force wings and served on the staffs of four major commands.
John Brown, who had commanded the group since June 2000.
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