pla·​toon | \plə-ˈtün, 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of waiters especially : a group of football players who are trained for either offense or defense and are sent into or withdrawn from the game as a body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

army, band, brigade, company, crew, gang, outfit, party, squad, team

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Examples of platoon in a Sentence


will need a platoon of assistants to mount the display at the spring flower show

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

His platoon fought in the northernmost section of the war zone. Jen Fifield, azcentral, "For Vietnam veteran, traveling memorial in Surprise brings memories he can't forget," 30 June 2018 But de Melo is an army of one; the Portuguese soldiers and their platoon of Angolans never arrive. Sheila Glaser, New York Times, "A Fable of Mozambique, Its Bloodshed and Myths," 8 June 2018 Pirela platoon Jose Pirela, who started 65 of the Padres’ first 67 games, is in the lineup Saturday against the Diamondbacks for just the second time this week and the 15th time in the past 34 games. Kevin Acee,, "Padres notes: Green monitors trade rumors; Ellis-Ross pairing; Pirela's platoon," 7 July 2018 And, in the not-so-unlikely scenario that Bell walks next year, Jones and James Conner could form a nice thunder and lightning platoon. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Round 2 NFL mock draft: Which QB will Patriots target as Tom Brady's successor?," 27 Apr. 2018 During his service from 2007 to 2011, his platoon officer called on him to recite the oath before every mission briefing. Sarah Wu, The Seattle Times, "At joyous Seattle ceremony, 498 become U.S. citizens — and consider what’s ahead," 5 July 2018 With Zack Cozart out for the season and Jose Fernandez sent back to the minors, Fletcher (.304, two RBI, one steal in 23 at-bats with the Angels) will occupy the short side of the platoon with veteran lefty-swinger Luis Valbuena. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Shane Bieber returns just in time," 29 June 2018 She was stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., and served as a platoon leader and maintenance shop officer. Mikaela Porter, Courant Community, "Local Father, Daughter Veterans To Be Marshals Of West Hartford Memorial Day Parade," 24 May 2018 Bevington was thought of very deeply by me and the entire platoon. Peter King,, "Thank You, Thank You, Thank You: Peter King Says Farewell to SI’s Monday Morning QB," 21 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Volvo Trucks shows off its platooning trucks during a demo in North Carolina. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "This Week in the Future of Cars: Unconventional Wisdom," 1 July 2018 The Indians should consider platooning him more often - the numbers show that is needed. Terry Pluto,, "Cleveland Indians: Tyler Naquin's rise, worries elsewhere -- Terry Pluto," 13 May 2018 After the deadline-day deal, Mohammed became a key piece on the 2005 championship team, platooning at first with Rasho Nesterovic at center. Tom Orsborn, San Antonio Express-News, "Spurs trade history includes several blockbusters," 26 May 2018 First baseman Eric Thames will be platooned at first base, playing primarily against right-handed starters. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "For Brewers, player surplus means start of season will 'suck for a couple of guys'," 26 Mar. 2018 The lefty hitter will platoon with Brandon Guyer while Chisenhall recovers. Terry Pluto,, "Cleveland Indians: How they keep winning -- Terry Pluto (photos)," 14 Apr. 2018 Carlos Tocci, the backup center fielder, will continue to platoon on the bench. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "Injuries have forced Rangers to throw a Round Rock reunion | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 13 Apr. 2018 Can’t the Royals platoon him with Lucas Duda at first base? Maria Torres, kansascity, "This is why Frank Schwindel will not be with the Royals on opening day | The Kansas City Star," 28 Mar. 2018 Butler platooned Wideman and Fowler and can do likewise with Fowler and 6-11 Joey Brunk. David Woods, Indianapolis Star, "Minus Martin, Butler's run of NCAA appearances in jeopardy," 19 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for platoon

Last Updated

31 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for platoon

The first known use of platoon was circa 1547

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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 \

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

What made you want to look up platoon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

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