com·​man·​do | \ kə-ˈman-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce commando (audio) \
plural commandos or commandoes

Definition of commando

1 South Africa
a : a military unit or command of the Boers
b : a raiding expedition
2a : a military unit trained and organized as shock troops especially for hit-and-run raids into enemy territory
b : a member of such a unit
go commando
slang : to wear no underwear

Examples of commando in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Her husband, a Guatemalan commando, had been killed during the civil war. New York Times, "Dianna Ortiz, American Nun Tortured in Guatemala, Dies at 62," 20 Feb. 2021 The attacks were carried out by Flotilla 13, an elite commando unit of the Israeli Navy that has been involved in clandestine operations since the early years of the Israeli state, according to the two Israeli officials and the American official. New York Times, "Israel’s Shadow War With Iran Moves Out to Sea," 26 Mar. 2021 Nazi spies pose as doctors to frame a shellshocked British commando for murder. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘My Fair Lady’; ‘Marry Poppins’," 19 Mar. 2021 Some leading congressional Republicans have criticized the administration’s temporary limits on counterterrorism drones strikes and commando raids. Eric Schmitt,, "Remote CIA base in the Sahara steadily grows," 8 Mar. 2021 This week, The New York Times reported that Biden’s team were reviewing the rules governing secret drone strikes and commando raids that were developed during the Obama administration, and loosened under Trump’s presidency. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "Does Biden Want Less War, or Just War With More Rules?," 5 Mar. 2021 Go full commando and chop victims off at the ground? Steve Bender, Southern Living, "What Should I Do With My Brown, Dead Bushes?," 4 Mar. 2021 The allegation from the Fourth of July barbecue led to a second ethics review of America's commando forces in a year. Julie Watson, Star Tribune, "US Navy drops charges against SEAL accused of sexual assault," 2 Feb. 2021 The unit’s members, most of them immigrants from Arab lands, were trained in intelligence gathering and undercover communications — Morse code, for example — as well as in commando tactics and using explosives. Ronen Bergman, New York Times, "Isaac Shoshan, Israeli Spy Who Posed as an Arab, Is Dead at 96," 5 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'commando.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of commando

1839, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for commando

Afrikaans kommando, from Dutch commando command, from Spanish comando, from comandar to command, from Late Latin commandare

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Time Traveler for commando

Time Traveler

The first known use of commando was in 1839

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Statistics for commando

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Commando.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for commando



English Language Learners Definition of commando

: a soldier who is trained to carry out surprise attacks on an enemy


com·​man·​do | \ kə-ˈman-dō How to pronounce commando (audio) \
plural commandos or commandoes

Kids Definition of commando

1 : a unit of troops trained for making surprise raids into enemy territory
2 : a member of a commando

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