a. The act of granting certain powers or the authority to carry out a particular task or duty.
b. The authority so granted.
c. The matter or task so authorized: Investigation of fraud was their commission.
d. A document conferring such authorization.
a. A public board or administrative body: The Federal Trade Commission investigates false advertising.
b. often Commission A ruling council within the Mafia that adjudicates family disputes and regulates family activities.
3. The act of committing or perpetrating: the commission of a crime.
4. A fee or percentage allowed to a sales representative or an agent for services rendered.
a. An official document issued by a government, conferring on the recipient the rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces.
b. The rank and powers so conferred.
tr.v. com·mis·sioned, com·mis·sion·ing, com·mis·sionsIdioms:
1. To grant a military commission to.
a. To grant authority for (something to be made or done); place an order for: commission a new symphony for the festival.
b. To authorize or engage (someone to do something): commission an architect to design a building. See Synonyms at authorize.
3. To put (a ship) into active service.
1. In active service. Used of a ship.
2. In use or in usable condition.
With a sales commission serving as full or partial recompense for the work done: sells boats on commission.
out of commission
1. Not in active service. Used of a ship.
2. Not in use or working condition.
[Middle English commissioun, from Latin commissiō, commissiōn-, from commissus, past participle of committere, to entrust; see COMMIT.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.