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 Close to midnight Sunday, a full 24 hours after the battle had begun, the police commandos cleared their way through a large garden and into the compound., "Afghan warlord escapes arrest as troops turn city into war zone - The Boston Globe," 17 Dec. 2019 In several films and TV shows depicting SEALs, the commandos are laid to rest in a cemetery as their teammates pound their Tridents into the coffin. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Understanding “The Budweiser”: The History of the Navy SEAL Trident," 26 Nov. 2019 Netanyahu, a former special forces commando, is patently in his element as a politician. Zachary Evans, National Review, "Israel Finally — Almost — Gets a Government," 23 Apr. 2020 One friend tells me, with a kind of pride, that she’s gone commando. Leah Garchik,, "Flattening the fashion curve but feeling ready for finery again," 28 Apr. 2020 Both groups are undergoing changes in leadership — Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a U.S. commando raid in Syria late last year, and al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, 68, reportedly suffers from health problems. Joby Warrick, Washington Post, "Al-Qaeda and Islamic State groups are working together in West Africa to grab large swaths of territory," 22 Feb. 2020 Howell’s group conducted its raid this weekend against Al-Baghdadi, who died after detonating a suicide vest while trying to escape U.S. commandos, President Trump said. Leada Gore |, al, "Commander of raid that brought down ISIS leader earned his wings in Alabama," 29 Oct. 2019 Back at the Pentagon was a furious Mr. Modly, who had moved up from the Navy’s No. 2 job in November after Mr. Esper demanded the resignation of his boss over his handling of the case of a Navy SEAL commando whom Mr. Trump had championed. Eric Schmitt, New York Times, "He Led a Top Navy Ship. Now He Sits in Quarantine, Fired and Infected.," 5 Apr. 2020 In their place comes a commando-like infantry force, equipped with nimbler weapons: drone squadrons will double in number and rocket batteries will triple. The Economist, "Send the Marines," 31 Mar. 2020

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

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The first known use of commando was in 1839

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Last Updated

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Commando.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce commando (audio)

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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