This is from an article in The New York Times: What Russian Revolution?

The Kremlin could not simply gloss over the Russian Revolution, so Mr. Putin has played it down. The official government order for commemorations referred only to “the revolution of 1917 in Russia” — not Great, or Russian, or Socialist, or October, or any other adjective that would imply glorification or disparagement.

I've looked up a few dictionary for the word 'order', but the only thing I can think of is 'order' as 'instruction.' What is the definition of 'order' here?

  • 1
    Seems as though the author avoided edict and decree and pronouncement and declaration.
    – TimR
    Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 12:49

1 Answer 1


In this context, official government oder means something like an official decree. Basically, an order from the government that everybody working for a government organization (or simply in the public sector) is obliged to follow. In other words, it tells you how you must conduct the celebrations: what things you should and should not say, what should and should not be written on the celebration banners et cetera. I think you just overlooked the definition in the dictionary that you were checking. I know it seems like a simple word, but it still sometimes can be confusing the way people use words that we all seem to be very well familiar with. This is what the Google dictionary has to say (just type in order definition into your Google search box):

a verbal or written request for something to be made, supplied, or served.

"the firm has won an order for six tankers"

  • Okay, I got ( 2. an authoritative command, direction, or instruction) When you say a decree, you mean something like legally binding one?
    – whitecap
    Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 7:58
  • That's excatly correct. Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 8:02
  • Thank you. I feel so stupid to ask a definition of one of the most common words.--;
    – whitecap
    Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 8:07
  • Don't sweat it. We're all guilty of that from time to time. Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 8:27

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