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; especially :  a group of football players who are trained for either offense or defense and are sent into or withdrawn from the game as a body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


Next Word in the Dictionary: platoon school
Previous Word in the Dictionary: Platonize
All Words Near: platoon

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up platoon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More