order about

British English

Meaning: If you order people about, you tell them what to do in a bossy way.

Synonym: order around, boss around (informal), boss about (informal)

For example:

  • order sb about The workers hate the way their supervisor orders them about. They say she's rude and bossy.

  • be ordered about Army recruits soon get used to being ordered about.

Variety: This is typically used in British English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz:

The office workers were being ordered about by their

a. cleaning staff

b. junior assistants

c. office manager

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Contributor: Matt Errey