Commend vs command

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Commend and command are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation but have two very different meanings. They are often confused. We will examine the definitions of commend and command, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Commend means to laud or praise in an official manner. Commend may also mean to present a recommendation or to render something acceptable. Commend is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are commends, commended, commending. The word commend is derived from the Latin word commendare which means to entrust.

Command means to order someone to do something. Command may also mean be in a strong position or in control. Command is used as a noun or a verb, related words are commands, commanded, commanding, commander. The word command is derived from the Latin word commandare, which means to order.


Hancock County commissioners commended its dog warden and those responsible for saving the life of a dog trapped in a culvert pipe. (The Steubenville Herald-Star)

He went on to tell the gathering that they were giants in the early days, those men who forced their way through the almost impenetrable ravines of the Blue Mountains, and he would commend to their notice not only those fine men who found their way across the mountains, but those who blazed the trail, and those who followed in their footsteps, such as the gallant soldier the late Governor of New South Wales, Colonel Macquarie, who had stood behind all those men and treated the adventure of the Blue Mountains. (The Western Advocate)

“I attribute a lot of what happened a year ago to failure to command the ball,” he said. (The Boston Herald)

Japan’s navy on Tuesday appointed the first woman to command a warship squadron, including the flagship Izumo helicopter carrier, as it tries to lure more females to make up for a dearth of male recruits in graying Japan. (Reuters)