1. a government administrator
2. a member of a commission
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Commissioner \Com*mis"sion*er\, n.
1. A person who has a commission or warrant to perform some
office, or execute some business, for the government,
corporation, or person employing him; as, a commissioner
to take affidavits or to adjust claims.
To another address which requested that a commission
might be sent to examine into the state of things in
Ireland, William returned a gracious answer, and
desired the Commons to name the commissioners.
2. An officer having charge of some department or bureau of
the public service.
Herbert was first commissioner of the Admiralty.
The commissioner of patents, the commissioner of the
land office, the commissioner of Indian affairs, are
subordinates of the secretary of the interior.
Commissioner of deeds, an officer having authority to take
affidavits, depositions, acknowledgment of deeds, etc.,
for use in the State by which he is appointed. [U. S.]
County commissioners, certain administrative officers in
some of the States, invested by local laws with various
powers in reference to the roads, courthouses, financial
matters, etc., of the county. [U. S.]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: a government administrator
2: a member of a commission
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
89 Moby Thesaurus words for "commissioner":
G-man, MP, alderman, archon, bailie, bailiff, beadle, beagle,
bound bailiff, burghermaster, burgomaster, cabinet member,
cabinet minister, captain, catchpole, chancellor, chief of police,
city councilman, city father, city manager, commissar, commissary,
commissionaire, constable, councillor, councilman, councilwoman,
county commissioner, county supervisor, delegate, deputy,
deputy sheriff, detective, elder, emissary, envoy, fed, federal,
flic, gendarme, government man, headman, herald, induna, inspector,
legate, legislator, lictor, lieutenant, lord mayor, mace-bearer,
magistrate, maire, marshal, mayor, messenger, minister,
minister of state, mounted policeman, narc, officer, patrolman,
peace officer, police captain, police commissioner,
police constable, police inspector, police matron, police officer,
police sergeant, policeman, policewoman, portreeve, reeve,
roundsman, secretary, secretary of state, selectman, sergeant,
sergeant at arms, sheriff, superintendent, supervisor, syndic,
tipstaff, tipstaves, trooper, undersecretary, warden
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
COMMISSIONER, officer. One who has a lawful commission to execute a public
office. In a more restricted sense it is one who is authorized to execute. a
particular duty, as, commissioner of the revenue, canal commissioner. The
term when used in this latter sense is not applied, for example, to a judge.
There are commissioners, too, who have no regular commissions and derive
their author from the elections held by the people. County commissioners, in
Pennsylvania, are officers of the latter kind.