"to revoke (a command or order)," early 15c., contremaunden, from Anglo-French and Old French contremander "reverse an order or command" (13c.), from contre- "against" (see contra (prep., adv.)) + mander, from Latin mandare "to order" (see mandate (n.)). Related: Countermanded; countermanding. As a noun, "a contrary order," 1540s.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "hand."
It forms all or part of: amanuensis; command; commando; commend; countermand; demand; Edmund; emancipate; legerdemain; maintain; manacle; manage; manciple; mandamus; mandate; manege; maneuver; manicure; manifest; manipulation; manner; manque; mansuetude; manual; manubrium; manufacture; manumission; manumit; manure; manuscript; mastiff; Maundy Thursday; mortmain; Raymond; recommend; remand; Sigismund.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Hittite maniiahh- "to distribute, entrust;" Greek mane "hand," Latin manus "hand, strength, power over; armed force; handwriting," mandare "to order, commit to one's charge," literally "to give into one's hand;" Old Norse mund "hand," Old English mund "hand, protection, guardian," German Vormund "guardian;" Old Irish muin "protection, patronage."
1580s, "call back from a distance, to bring back by calling upon," from re- "back, again, to a former state" + call (v.); in some cases a loan-translation of French rappeler (see repeal (v.)) or Latin revocare "to rescind, call back" (see revoke).
A Latin-Germanic hybrid. The meaning "to revoke, take back, countermand" is by 1580s. The sense of "bring back to memory, call back to the mind or perception" is attested from 1610s. Related: Recalled; recalling.