Definition of commissary in English:



  • 1A deputy or delegate.

    • ‘For instance, we are trying to teach French to the new European commissaries.’
    • ‘Due to either lack of course knowledge or obstinacy, the commissaries maintained the original lap count and sent the riders off to suffer for six laps and what would become a 3-hour death march.’
    • ‘Clive conquered and organized Bengal for the East India Company He first went to Madras as a clerk in 1743 and by 1749 had won the lucrative appointment of military commissary.’
    • ‘The commissary, a commissioned officer, handled food procurement and, like the quartermaster, on many questions answered directly to his superiors in the national capital rather than to the army commander.’
    • ‘It must first ask the board of commissaries, in this case the House of Representatives.’
    1. 1.1A representative or deputy of a bishop.
      • ‘Under the supervision of the Bishop of London, commissaries were appointed in many colonies to provide supervision and support of church life.’
      • ‘The assurance of salvation by letters of pardon is vain, even though the commissary, nay, even though the pope himself, were to stake his soul upon it.’
      • ‘The following letter has been received by the Bishop's Commissary’
      • ‘When he called upon James, the bishop's commissary in Williamsburg, the latter expressed doubts about recommending him, his ostensible reason being that his knowledge of Greek was inadequate.’
      • ‘Both Askham and Crokford were cited to appear before the bishop's commissary for inquiry and judgement.’
      representative, envoy, emissary, commissioner, agent, deputy, commissary
  • 2North American A restaurant or food store in a military base, prison, or other institution.

    • ‘The restaurants paid the commissary a price for supplies that left their food costs at 28% to 29% of revenues.’
    • ‘She works the 5 to 6 o'clock shift (AM to PM that is) and is on hand everyday in the commissary and restaurants.’
    • ‘I am on my way to the commissary for coffee and you haven't eaten in days.’
    • ‘Lunchtime at the studio was fun because everyone would eat at the commissary in costume.’
    • ‘We didn't eat in the commissary.’
    • ‘Take advantage of such military benefits as the commissary, Post Exchange, thrift shop, tuition assistance, health care, recreation centers and movie theaters.’
    • ‘Although it was six miles from Keflavik, the site had its own base exchange, commissary, gym, theater and club.’
    • ‘Current services include a child care center, recreation center, community club, fitness center, Army community services, skeet club, commissary and post office.’
    • ‘Among buildings in full bloom are the new base exchange, fitness center, commissary, a school consolidating kindergarten through high school in one main area, collocated club and four modern dormitories.’
    • ‘He wouldn't need food or cooking utensils; the Club's commissary supplied that.’
    • ‘One early focus was the company's commissary, which imported olive oil, cheese, and other ingredients from Italy and then made sauces, salad dressings, and pastas by hand.’
    • ‘A boarding house/hotel and commissary was also on the property.’
    • ‘He never told the commissary to make tapioca pudding no matter how often I asked.’
    • ‘Still, at virtually every movie premiere, in studio commissaries, over lunch at The Grill and at other show-business hang-outs, the investigation, and who is being called before the grand jury, have become the major topic of discussion.’
    • ‘The day the cast filmed their last episode, I saw them in the commissary.’
    • ‘I told Nicole we'd go down to the commissary and get her something to eat.’
    • ‘Most importantly, this site is not for complaining about the price of steak in the commissary.’
    • ‘I used to go to the commissary with him and sit next to people that were dressed like Indian chiefs and cowboys and monsters.’


Late Middle English from medieval Latin commissarius ‘person in charge’, from Latin commiss- ‘joined, entrusted’, from the verb committere (see commit).