com·man·do | \kə-ˈman-(ˌ)dō \
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

Image Nangarhar lies along Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan, and Islamic State fighters in the area continue to threaten to stage brutal attacks in the provincial capital, even amid operations by Afghan commandos as well as American airstrikes. New York Times, "Suicide Bombing on Afghan Education Department Kills 12," 11 July 2018 The commandos used smoke canisters to hide from video cameras, and the helicopter touched down in the only part of the complex that was not covered by anti-helicopter netting, said another union member, Loic Delbroc. NBC News, "Notorious French criminal freed from prison by heavily armed men in helicopter," 1 July 2018 Drones, midget submarines and tunnelling commandos could deploy biological, chemical and even nuclear weapons. The Economist, "The next warThe growing danger of great-power conflict," 25 Jan. 2018 This is likely for operations in Syria, where G.R.U. commandos, or Spetsnaz, have been instrumental in the fight against the Islamic State and played a critical role in regaining cities like Aleppo and Palmyra for the Assad government. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, "G.R.U., Russian Spy Agency Cited by Mueller, Casts a Long Shadow," 13 July 2018 But the images of the blithe commando, then 47, seen on the recordings portrayed Woewiyu in a far different light than jurors have seen of him throughout much of the trial. Jeremy Roebuck,, "How a Delco man sought to use stolen U.S. military weapons to wage war in Liberia," 28 June 2018 During a three-week offensive that just drew to a close, a pincer movement by Afghan commandos and U.S. Special Forces trapped hundreds of Islamic State militants in Gurgoray Valley, in Deh Bala District, 10 miles from the Pakistan border. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, "U.S., Afghan Offensive Crushes Islamic State in Area Near Pakistan," 21 June 2018 As for Renner, well … by design his character is the odd man out, a superhumanly gifted tagger not above commando tactics. Michael Phillips,, "'Tag' review: Don't these guys have anything else to do?," 14 June 2018 Air base crews would have struggled mightily to operate around the clock, all while down enemy aircraft, fill holes in the runway, scrub away lethal nerve agents, and prevent enemy commandos from overrunning the base. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch A-10 Warthogs Landing on the German Autobahn During the Cold War," 5 July 2018

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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Statistics for commando

Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for commando

The first known use of commando was in 1839

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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 \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on commando

Spanish Central: Translation of commando

Nglish: Translation of commando for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about commando

Comments on commando

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one that holds something together

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