Legal Dictionary


Legal Definition of commission


  1. A formal group of experts brought together on a regular or ad hoc basis to debate matters within that sphere of expertise, and with regulatory or quasi-judicial powers such as the ability to license activity in the sphere of activity or to subpoena witnesses. Commissions usually also have advisory powers to government. The organizational form of a commission is often resorted to by governments to exhaustively investigate a matter of national concern, and is often known as a "commission of inquiry." This legal structure can be contrasted with a council, the latter not enjoying quasi-judicial or regulatory powers.

Definition of commission


    From Latin commissio ("sending together; commission"), from prefix com- ("with"), + noun of action missio ("sending"), from perfect passive participle missus ("sent"), from the verb mittō, + noun of action suffix -io.


  • IPA: /kəˈmɪʃən/, SAMPA: /k@"mIS@n/
  • Audio (US) [?]
  • Rhymes: -ɪʃən


commission (plural commissions)

  1. A sending or mission (to do or accomplish something).

    It was James Bond's commission to defeat the bad guys.

  2. An official charge or authority to do something, often used of military officers.

    David received his commission after graduating from West Point.

  3. A body or group of people, officially tasked with carrying out a particular function. Eg: The European Commission, The Electoral Commission, The Federal Communications Commission.

    The company's sexual harassment commission made sure that every employee completed the on-line course.

  4. A fee charged by an agent or broker for carrying out a transaction. Eg: Reseller commission, Finder's fee.

    The real-estate broker charged a four percent commission for their knowledge on bidding for commercial properties; for their intellectual perspective on making a formal offer and the strategy to obtain a mutually satisfying deal with the seller in favour of the buyer.

  5. the act of committing (e.g. a crime)

    the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism


  • body of officials: committee, government body
  • fee charged: brokerage

Derived terms

  • commissioner
  • European Commission
  • out of commission


to commission (third-person singular simple present commissions, present participle commissioning, simple past and past participle commissioned)

  1. (transitive) To send or officially charge someone or some group to do something.

    James Bond was commissioned with recovering the secret documents.

  2. (transitive) To place an order for (often piece of art); as, commission a portrait.

    He commissioned a replica of the Mona Lisa for his living room, but the painter gave up after six months.

  3. (transitive) To put into active service; as, commission a ship.

    The aircraft carrier was commissioned in 1944, during WWII.


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


1.     quorum
2.     scienter
3.     adjudication order
4.     Miranda warning
5.     AORO
6.     lex causae
7.     lex patriae
8.     appellant
9.     stare decisis
10.     synallagmatic contract