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an authoritative direction or instruction; command; mandate.
a command of a court or judge.
a command or notice issued by a military organization or a military commander to troops, sailors, etc.
the disposition of things following one after another, as in space or time; succession or sequence:
The names were listed in alphabetical order.
a condition in which each thing is properly disposed with reference to other things and to its purpose; methodical or harmonious arrangement:
You must try to give order to your life.
formal disposition or array:
the order of the troops.
proper, satisfactory, or working condition.
state or condition generally:
His financial affairs were in good order.
conformity or obedience to law or established authority; absence of disturbance, riot, revolt, unruliness, etc.:
A police officer was there to maintain order.
customary mode of procedure; established practice or usage.
the customary or prescribed mode of proceeding in debates or the like, or in the conduct of deliberative or legislative bodies, public meetings, etc.:
parliamentary rules of order.
prevailing course or arrangement of things; established system or regime:
The old order is changing.
conformity to this.
a direction or commission to make, provide, or furnish something:
The salesclerk will take your order.
a quantity of goods or items purchased or sold:
The druggist is sending the order right over.

the arrangement of the elements of a construction in a particular sequence, as the placing of John before the verb and of George after it in John saw George.
the hierarchy of grammatical rules applying to a construction.
the rank of immediate constituents.

any of the nine grades of angels in medieval angelology.
Compare angel (def 1).

degree, as in algebra.
the number of rows or columns of a square matrix or determinant.
the number of times a function has been differentiated to produce a given derivative:
a second order derivative.
the order of the highest derivative appearing in a given differential equation: d 2 y/dx 2 + 3 y (dy/dx) − 6 = 0 is a differential equation of order two.
the number of elements of a given group.
the smallest positive integer such that a given element in a group raised to that integer equals the identity.
the least positive integer n such that permuting a given set n times under a given permutation results in the set in its original form.

any class, kind, or sort, as of persons or things, distinguished from others by nature or character:
talents of a high order.
Biology. the usual major subdivision of a class or subclass in the classification of organisms, consisting of several families.
a rank, grade, or class of persons in a community.
a group or body of persons of the same profession, occupation, or pursuits:
the clerical order.
a body or society of persons living by common consent under the same religious, moral, or social regulations.
Ecclesiastical. any of the degrees or grades of clerical office.
Compare major order, minor order.
a monastic society or fraternity:
the Franciscan order.
a written direction to pay money or deliver goods, given by a person legally entitled to dispose of it:
delivery order; exchange order.

any arrangement of columns with an entablature.
any of five such arrangements typical of classical architecture, including the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian orders invented by the Greeks and adapted by the Romans, the Tuscan order, invented by the Romans, and the Composite order, first named during the Renaissance.
any of several concentric rings composing an arch, especially when each projects beyond the one below.

orders, the rank or status of an ordained Christian minister.
Usually, orders. the rite or sacrament of ordination.
a prescribed form of divine service or of administration of a rite or ceremony.
the service itself.
the visible structures essential or desirable to the nature of the church, involving especially ministry, polity, and sacraments.
a society or fraternity of knights, of combined military and monastic character, as, in the Middle Ages, the Knights Templars.
a modern organization or society more or less resembling the knightly orders:
fraternal orders.
(initial capital letter) British.

a special honor or rank conferred by a sovereign upon a person for distinguished achievement.
the insignia worn by such persons.

Chiefly British. a pass for admission to a theater, museum, or the like.
to give an order, direction, or command to:
The infantry divisions were ordered to advance.
to direct or command to go or come as specified:
to order a person out of one’s house.
to prescribe:
The doctor ordered rest for the patient.
to direct to be made, supplied, or furnished:
to order a copy of a book.
to regulate, conduct, or manage:
to order one’s life for greater leisure.
to arrange methodically or suitably:
to order chessmen for a game.
Mathematics. to arrange (the elements of a set) so that if one element precedes another, it cannot be preceded by the other or by elements that the other precedes.
to ordain, as God or fate does.
to invest with clerical rank or authority.
to give an order or issue orders:
I wish to order, but the waiter is busy.
a tall order, a very difficult or formidable task, requirement, or demand:
Getting the crop harvested with so few hands to help was a tall order.
Also, a large order.
call to order, to begin (a meeting):
The meeting was called to order at 3 o’clock.
in order,

fitting; appropriate:
It appears that an apology is in order.
in a state of proper arrangement, preparation, or readiness:
Everything is in order for the departure.
correct according to the rules of parliamentary procedure:
Questions from the floor are now in order.

in order that, so that; to the end that:
We ought to leave early in order that we may not miss the train.
in order to, as a means to; with the purpose of:
She worked summers in order to save money for college.
in short order, with promptness or speed; rapidly:
The merchandise arrived in short order.
on order, ordered but not yet received:
We’re out of stock in that item, but it’s on order.
on the order of,

resembling to some extent; like:
I would like a dress on the order of the one in the window.
approximately; about:
On the order of 100,000 people attended the rally.

out of order,

inappropriate; unsuitable:
His remark was certainly out of order.
not operating properly; in disrepair:
The air conditioner is out of order again.
incorrect according to the rules of parliamentary procedure:
The chairwoman told him that he was out of order.

to order, according to one’s individual requirements or instructions:
a suit made to order; carpeting cut to order.
Contemporary Examples

Why Egypt’s Naysayers Got It Wrong Laila Lalami February 11, 2011
The Daily Beast Recommends The Daily Beast April 20, 2009
Was A Ukraine Activist Tortured By A Government ‘Death Squad’? Oleg Shynkarenko January 31, 2014
Comedy Bang! Bang!’s Flying Circus Rich Goldstein May 7, 2014
How Did Cyprus Get So Bad? David Frum March 18, 2013

Historical Examples

Sir Brook Fossbrooke, Volume I. Charles James Lever
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327 Various
Three People Pansy
A Sketch of the Life of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion William Dobein James
Long Live the King Mary Roberts Rinehart

a state in which all components or elements are arranged logically, comprehensibly, or naturally
an arrangement or disposition of things in succession; sequence: alphabetical order
an established or customary method or state, esp of society
a peaceful or harmonious condition of society: order reigned in the streets
(often pl) a class, rank, or hierarchy: the lower orders
(biology) any of the taxonomic groups into which a class is divided and which contains one or more families. Carnivora, Primates, and Rodentia are three orders of the class Mammalia
an instruction that must be obeyed; command
a decision or direction of a court or judge entered on the court record but not included in the final judgment

a commission or instruction to produce or supply something in return for payment
the commodity produced or supplied
(as modifier): order form

a procedure followed by an assembly, meeting, etc
(capital when part of a name) a body of people united in a particular aim or purpose
(usually capital) Also called religious order. a group of persons who bind themselves by vows in order to devote themselves to the pursuit of religious aims
(history) a society of knights constituted as a fraternity, such as the Knights Templars

a group of people holding a specific honour for service or merit, conferred on them by a sovereign or state
the insignia of such a group

any of the five major classical styles of architecture classified by the style of columns and entablatures used See also Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan, composite (sense 4)
any style of architecture


the sacrament by which bishops, priests, etc, have their offices conferred upon them
any of the degrees into which the ministry is divided
the office of an ordained Christian minister

a form of Christian Church service prescribed to be used on specific occasions
(Judaism) one of the six sections of the Mishna or the corresponding tractates of the Talmud

the number of times a function must be differentiated to obtain a given derivative
the order of the highest derivative in a differential equation
the number of rows or columns in a determinant or square matrix
the number of members of a finite group

short for order of magnitude
(military) the order, the dress, equipment, or formation directed for a particular purpose or undertaking: drill order, battle order
a tall order, something difficult, demanding, or exacting
in order

in sequence
properly arranged
appropriate or fitting

(preposition; foll by an infinitive) in order to, so that it is possible to: to eat in order to live
(conjunction) in order that, with the purpose that; so that
keep order, to maintain or enforce order
of the order of, in the order of, having an approximately specified size or quantity
on order, having been ordered or commissioned but not having been delivered
out of order

not in sequence
not working
not following the rules or customary procedure

to order

according to a buyer’s specifications
on request or demand

(transitive) to give a command to (a person or animal to do or be something)
to request (something) to be supplied or made, esp in return for payment: he ordered a hamburger
(transitive) to instruct or command to move, go, etc (to a specified place): they ordered her into the house
(transitive; may take a clause as object) to authorize; prescribe: the doctor ordered a strict diet
(transitive) to arrange, regulate, or dispose (articles) in their proper places
(of fate or the gods) to will; ordain
(transitive) (rare) to ordain
an exclamation of protest against an infringement of established procedure
an exclamation demanding that orderly behaviour be restored
A group of organisms ranking above a family and below a class. See Table at taxonomy.

order of the day, the
order someone about


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