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

The decision comes as Iran has threatened to retaliate against the UK after British commandos seized an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar last week. CNN, "Britain raises security level for UK ships in the Gulf to 'critical', official confirms," 12 July 2019 That same day, four doctors were killed during the early-morning raid by Afghan commandos on a hospital in central Wardak Province, according to Sharifullah Hotak, a member of the provincial council. David Zucchino, New York Times, "It’s War on Afghan Civilians, Even as Both Sides Talk Peace," 9 July 2019 He and the thousands of other young activists who spent the day battering their way through the building’s glass and metal entrances see themselves as commandos in a movement to safeguard Hong Kong’s freedoms from Beijing’s depredation. Time, "'We Are Risking Everything.' Hong Kong's Young Rebels Stake Everything on Their Struggle," 5 July 2019 Currently, about 7,300 American commandos are operating in 92 countries. New York Times,, "Pentagon may cut commando forces in Africa in major military review," 4 June 2018 His commando-style approach and sensational findings fueled public interest. Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star, "It's vigilante activist vs. politically connected farmer in Fair Oaks cruelty controversy," 7 June 2019 The militants were killed by commandoes inside the cafe during a 12-hour standoff. Julhas Alam, The Seattle Times, "Trial begins in attack on Bangladesh cafe in which 22 died," 4 Dec. 2018 In neighboring Nangarhar province, American Special Operation troops and Afghan commandos have battled pockets of fighters allied with the Islamic State since 2015. Thomas Gibbons-neff, New York Times, "American Soldier Is Killed in Afghanistan, the 2nd This Week," 12 July 2018 That is a significant change for commandos who are used to making fast judgments about missions and the move reverses guidance issued last year by the Special Operations Command in Africa. Thomas Gibbons-neff And Eric Schmitt,, "US commandos in Africa told to avoid direct combat," 9 May 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

15 Jul 2019

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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 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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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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something desired as essential

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