Etymology
Advertisement

commission (n.)

mid-14c., "authority entrusted to someone, delegated authority or power," from Old French commission and directly from Latin commissionem (nominative commissio) "act of committing," in Medieval Latin "delegation of business," noun of action from past participle stem of committere "to unite, connect, combine; to bring together," from com "with, together" (see com-) + mittere "to release, let go; send, throw" (see mission).

Meaning "document delegating authority" is from early 15c.; meaning "body of persons charged with authority for the performance of certain special duties" is from late 15c. Sense of "anything entrusted to anyone to perform" is from 1560s; sense of "act of committing or doing" is from 1590s.

Naval sense "period of active service of a warship" is by 1882 (in commission "under the command of an officer" is from 1733). Hence out of commission "laid up in a navy yard or in reserve" (1878), subsequently extended to other machinery, and, figuratively, to persons or human qualities by 1917.

In commercial use, "authority delegated by another for the purchase and sale of goods," 1620s. Meaning "allowance made or percentage given to an agent for transacting business" is from 1725.

Origin and meaning of commission

commission (v.)

1660s, "empower or authorize by commission," from commission (n.). In the naval sense, of persons, "be given the rank of an officer (by commission from authority)," from 1793; of a ship, "to be transferred from the naval yard and placed in the command of the officer put in charge of it," 1796. Related: Commissioned; commissioning.

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of commission
1
commission (n.)
a special group delegated to consider some matter; "a committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours" - Milton Berle;
Synonyms: committee
commission (n.)
a fee for services rendered based on a percentage of an amount received or collected or agreed to be paid (as distinguished from a salary);
he works on commission
commission (n.)
the act of granting authority to undertake certain functions;
Synonyms: commissioning
commission (n.)
the state of being in good working order and ready for operation;
put the ships into commission
the motor was out of commission
commission (n.)
a formal statement of a command or injunction to do something;
Synonyms: charge / direction
commission (n.)
an official document issued by a government and conferring on the recipient the rank of an officer in the armed forces;
Synonyms: military commission
commission (n.)
the act of committing a crime;
Synonyms: perpetration / committal
commission (n.)
a special assignment that is given to a person or group;
Synonyms: mission / charge
commission (n.)
a group of representatives or delegates;
Synonyms: deputation / delegation / delegacy / mission
2
commission (v.)
put into commission; equip for service; of ships;
commission (v.)
place an order for;
commission (v.)
charge with a task;
From wordnet.princeton.edu