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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

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

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.
See also: command

be at (one's) command

To be available to help or serve someone. The resident file clerk is here at your command! How can I help with this project?
See also: command

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

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

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Lenaers is currently serving as commanding general, United States Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, Warren, Mich.
Nadeau is currently serving as commanding general, United States Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
to commanding general, Picatinny Arsenal, Picatinny Arsenal, N.
First, the subordinate commands that used to work for the MTMC Commanding General and the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, in Alexandria, now report, operationally, to the Deputy Commanding General.
Previously, the command's two overseas groups reported directly to MTMC's Commanding General in Alexandria, Va.
In the new organization, Doomink has assumed the position of MTMC Deputy Commanding General and Director of Operations.
In the future, the Commanding General will transition to the Deputy Commanding General for Operations of MTMC .
The centralization of operations functions under a Deputy Commanding General and Director of Operations, Headquarters MTMC, at Fort Eustis, Va.
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