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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

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

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 ?
Providing the automation necessary for the real-time update of the Army FMS database, the on-line development of FMS cases, the electronic transmission of cases from the major subordinate commands and the ad hoc querying of the database information.
Planners in the joint Staff office had looked at abolishing Southern, Central, and European commands as early as 1990, and Powell is said to have been with them.
SumTotal Systems (NASDAQ:SUMT), the industry's largest provider of learning and business performance technologies, services and processes, today announced that the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), a U.
One of the things they do is get feedback directly from the field, and this feedback goes directly to the major subordinate commands and to the private sector where applicable.
commander of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, assembled his key leaders--SDDC subordinate commanders and headquarters staff--as well as our wartraced reserve unit commanders, key non-commissioned officers, strategic mobility partners and deploying unit representatives--for a three-day conference to discuss the command's continuing evolution and expanding mission which includes plans for a new readiness command.
Commands not listed here should provide a history report for calendar year 2000 to the Naval Historical Center, ATTN: Naval Aviation History and Archives, 1242 10th Street SE, Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5059.
With packetized SCSI, one device can send any number of commands to another, significantly reducing the time required to issue multiple commands.
Right now, both corps support commands and TSC have to funnel supplies and services through different layers of management before getting to soldiers in the rear and forward of the battle areas.
The CDDOC now operating for Central Command in Operation Iraqi Freedom is just a starting point for transporters and logisticians.
Submitting an annual command history to the Naval Aviation History Office in Washington, D.
Northern Command commander, will speak during the first business session of the conference, Sept.
Units from the active Army, Army Reserve, and National Guard submit nomination packages through their major commands for review.
Transportation Component Commands for surface lift, we worked hand-in-hand with our great partners at the Military Sealift Command to streamline the process and funnel all the requirements through SDDC," said Dunwoody.
After more than 24 years, Tactical Air Command and Military Airlift Command, two of the most historic of the Air Force's major commands, became active again.