noun \plə-ˈtün, pla-\

: a group of soldiers that includes two or more squads usually led by one lieutenant

: a group of people who are doing something together

Full 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; especially :  a group of football players who are trained for either offense or defense and are sent into or withdrawn from the game as a body

Examples of PLATOON

  1. <will need a platoon of assistants to mount the display at the spring flower show>

Origin of PLATOON

French peloton small detachment, literally, ball, from Middle French pelote little ball — more at pellet
First Known Use: 1637

Other Military Terms

bivouac, logistics, petard, salient, sally, supernumerary, tactical



Definition of PLATOON

transitive verb
:  to play (one player) alternately with another player in the same position (as on a baseball team)
intransitive verb
:  to alternate with another player at the same position
:  to use alternate players at the same position

First Known Use of PLATOON



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

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 also military unit.


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