pla·​toon | \ plə-ˈtün How to pronounce platoon (audio) , pla- \

Definition of platoon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a subdivision of a company-sized military unit normally consisting of two or more squads or sections
2 : a group of persons sharing a common characteristic or activity a platoon of waiters especially : a group of football players who are trained for either offense or defense and are sent into or withdrawn from the game as a body


platooned; platooning; platoons

Definition of platoon (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to play (one player) alternately with another player in the same position (as on a baseball team)

intransitive verb

1 : to alternate with another player at the same position
2 : to use alternate players at the same position

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Synonyms for platoon

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of platoon in a Sentence

Noun will need a platoon of assistants to mount the display at the spring flower show
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Gallagher was also a member of SEAL Team 7 in Iraq but with a different platoon and under different leadership. Julie Watson, Star Tribune, "US Navy drops charges against SEAL accused of sexual assault," 2 Feb. 2021 As a left-handed hitter with some power, though, Miller could fit a shortstop platoon with, say, Pinder, especially if the A’s were to acquire a pure second baseman. Matt Kawahara,, "Five shortstops A’s could consider in free agency if Marcus Semien leaves," 12 Dec. 2020 Calhoun Could very easily see a long-term Calhoun/Solak platoon. Evan Grant, Dallas News, "Rangers’ roadmap to success in 2021 includes drafting deftly, a middle infield mandate and more," 12 Dec. 2020 Sullivan also represented Lt. Jacob Portier, Gallagher’s platoon commander in Iraq who also was charged in connection with that 2017 deployment. Andrew Dyer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Five sailors granted immunity to testify in San Diego Navy SEAL sexual assault trial," 6 Oct. 2020 Two of them were killed, and several members of Lorance’s platoon testified against him. Los Angeles Times, "Trump pardon of Blackwater killers sparks outrage in Iraq," 23 Dec. 2020 Those clusters resulted from one recruit infecting a roommate, or multiple others in the same platoon, which have 50 to 60 members. Benedict Carey, New York Times, "Navy Research Confirms Need for Strict Coronavirus Testing Protocols," 11 Nov. 2020 With 50 percent casualties, the platoon maneuvered to a position of cover to treat their wounded and reorganize, while Pfc. Drew Broach | Staff Writer,, "On Veterans Day, meet all 26 of Louisiana's Medal of Honor recipients," 10 Nov. 2020 Yet for all the Rays’ ability to match the Dodgers in the aggregate, and platoon and match up and pester and endure, there is just too much talent on the other side of the field. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Rays-Dodgers World Series: Preview, schedule and why L.A. holds a slight edge," 20 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Cavs’ decision to platoon the center spot, splitting the minutes almost evenly, didn’t work either. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers to sit Andre Drummond while looking for trade ahead of March 25 deadline," 15 Feb. 2021 Chad Pinder and Vimael Machin will platoon at shortstop as long as Semien is out. Matt Kawahara,, "A’s return to field for workouts, eye Friday to resume season," 2 Sep. 2020 That forced Castro to platoon around shortstop, third base and second base. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers' Willi Castro 'not a fluke.' Here's why he can be the answer at shortstop," 20 Sep. 2020 Manager Joe Maddon said veteran Justin Upton, who is batting .135 with two homers and five RBIs in the third year of his $106-million contract, will platoon with fellow outfielder Brian Goodwin. Maria Torres Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Jo Adell singles in at-bat debut, Mike Trout homers in return in Angels’ win over Mariners," 4 Aug. 2020 Elliott, a fourth-year junior, is listed at 6-foot-4 and 325 pounds and would be a big body to platoon with Mike Purcell. Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "15 underclassmen NFL draft prospects who should intrigue Broncos," 21 Jan. 2020 Barnhart will likely platoon with right-handed hitter Curt Casali behind the plate in 2020, with Barnhart getting the start against right-handed pitchers. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, "Reds catching coordinator Corky Miller says Tucker Barnhart is due for better 2020 season," 11 July 2020 That’s because Zaidi plans to fill the extra rosters spots with pitchers — starters aren’t initially expected to last more than three or four innings — and hitters who platoon at various positions. John Shea,, "Outlook for Giants’ Gabe Kapler, Farhan Zaidi: We’re starting in a pennant race," 30 June 2020 The depth gives the Rays the ability to platoon at certain spots, survive injuries, and rest players when needed. Peter Abraham,, "Tampa Bay Rays have a lot of winning ingredients," 29 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'platoon.' 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 platoon


circa 1547, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1963, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for platoon


French peloton small detachment, literally, ball, from Middle French pelote little ball — more at pellet

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Time Traveler for platoon

Time Traveler

The first known use of platoon was circa 1547

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Statistics for platoon

Last Updated

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Platoon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for platoon



English Language Learners Definition of platoon

: a group of soldiers that includes two or more squads usually led by one lieutenant
: a group of people who are doing something together


pla·​toon | \ plə-ˈtün How to pronounce platoon (audio) \

Kids Definition of platoon

: a part of a military company usually made up of two or more squads

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Comments on platoon

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