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Definition of PLATOON
: a subdivision of a company-sized military unit normally consisting of two or more squads or sections
: a group of persons sharing a common characteristic or activity <a platoon of waiters>; especially: a group of football players who are trained for either offense or defense and are sent into or withdrawn from the game as a body
: to play (one player) alternately with another player in the same position (as on a baseball team)
: to alternate with another player at the same position
: to use alternate players at the same position
First Known Use of PLATOON
Principal subdivision of a military company, battery, or troop. Usually commanded by a lieutenant, it consists of 25–50 soldiers organized into two or more squads led by noncommissioned officers. The term was first used in the 17th century to refer to a small body of musketeers who fired together in a volley alternately with another platoon. It has been used in U.S. military manuals since 1779, and throughout the 19th century it meant half a company. It was reintroduced into the British army in 1913. See alsomilitary unit.