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

Tensions started to grow on Sunday when Israel launched a secret commando raid into the Gaza Strip, territory controlled by the militant group Hamas. Alex Ward, Vox, "Israel and Gaza just saw their worst violence in years. It could get worse.," 14 Nov. 2018 But hours after Netanyahu spoke Sunday, an Israeli commando unit on an undercover mission was caught behind enemy lines in Gaza by Hamas militants. Fares Akram, The Seattle Times, "Cease-fire takes hold between Israel and Hamas," 13 Nov. 2018 Worsley was a British army officer in a commando unit. Sara Wheeler, WSJ, "‘The White Darkness’ Review: Coming in From the Cold," 25 Oct. 2018 John McTiernan’s 1987 original was an Arnold Schwarzenegger action vehicle that pitted a group of military commandos against an interstellar hunter that picked them off one by one. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Predator could have been the franchise’s chance to finally have an identity," 8 Sep. 2018 Special Forces developed a plan to land Afghan commandos in key terrain behind the enemy. Habib Khan Totakhil, WSJ, "U.S., Afghan Forces Launch Major Offensive Against Islamic State," 8 June 2018 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

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

18 Nov 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

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