An order or order of merit is a visible honour, awarded by a government, dynastic house, sovereign or organization to an individual. The distinction between orders and decorations is somewhat vague, except that most historic orders imply a membership in a group. In the case of most European orders, membership was also limited in number. Decorations have no such limitations, and are awarded purely to recognize the merit or accomplishments of the recipient. Both orders and decorations often come in multiple classes.

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  1. Arrangement, disposition, sequence.
  2. The state of being well arranged.
    The house is in order; the machinery is out of order.
  3. Conformity with law or decorum; freedom from disturbance; general tranquillity; public quiet.
    to preserve order in a community or an assembly
  4. A command.
  5. A request for some product or service; a commission to purchase, sell, or supply goods.
  6. A group of religious adherents, especially monks or nuns, set apart within their religion by adherence to a particular rule or set of principles; as, the Jesuit Order.
  7. A society of knights; as, the Order of the Garter, the Order of the Bath.
  8. A decoration, awarded by a government, a dynastic house, or a religious body to an individual, usually for distinguished service to a nation or to humanity.
  9. A rank in the classification of organisms, below class and above family; a taxon at that rank.
  10. A number of things or persons arranged in a fixed or suitable place, or relative position; a rank; a row; a grade; especially, a rank or class in society; a distinct character, kind, or sort.
    the higher or lower orders of society
    talent of a high order
  11. An ecclesiastical grade or rank, as of deacon, priest, or bishop; the office of the Christian ministry; often used in the plural.
    to take orders, or to take holy orders, that is, to enter some grade of the ministry
  12. The disposition of a column and its component parts, and of the entablature resting upon it, in classical architecture; hence (as the column and entablature are the characteristic features of classical architecture) a style or manner of architectural designing.
  13. The sequence in which a side’s batsmen bat; the batting order.
  14. a power of polynomial function in an electronic circuit’s block, such as a filter, an amplifier, etc.
  15. The overall power of the rate law of a chemical reaction, expressed as a polynomial function of concentrations of reactants and products.
  16. The cardinality, or number of elements in a set or related structure.
  17. The number of vertices in a graph.
  18. A partially ordered set.
  19. The relation on a partially ordered set that determines that it in fact a partically ordered set.
  20. The sum of the exponents on the variables in a monomial, or the highest such among all monomials in a polynomial.


  1. To set in some sort of order.
  2. To arrange, set in proper order.
  3. To issue a command to.
    to order troops to advance
  4. To request some product or service; to secure by placing an order.
    to order groceries
  5. To admit to holy orders; to ordain; to receive into the ranks of the ministry.

The above text is a snippet from Wiktionary: order
and as such is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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