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of waiters especially : a group of football players who are trained for either offense or defense and are sent into or withdrawn from the game as a body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 Each unit, from platoon upwards, has a clerical commissioner who vets promotions and reports directly to Mr Khamenei. The Economist, "Regime on edge Iranian clerics risk being overwhelmed by a crisis they created," 14 Jan. 2020 But still the assault platoon advanced, and several squads rushed inside. NBC News, "Ukraine fears Trump hold on aid exposed vulnerability in war with Russia," 26 Dec. 2019 The 24 men from the Mortar platoon won’t be coming home for Christmas and WWJH students wanted to show them their love and support. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Woodrow Wilson students spread kindness during ‘thankful’ season," 21 Dec. 2019 Portier was Gallagher’s platoon commander and was charged with failing to report the killing of the captive. Washington Post, "Navy cancels review for SEALs after firing of Navy secretary," 28 Nov. 2019 Portier was Gallagher’s platoon commander and was charged with failing to report the killing of the captive. Julie Watson, The Denver Post, "Fired Navy Secretary Spencer criticizes Trump in SEAL case," 28 Nov. 2019 Portier was Gallagher’s platoon commander and was charged with failing to report the killing of the captive. Julie Watson, Twin Cities, "Fired Navy Secretary Spencer criticizes Trump in SEAL case," 28 Nov. 2019 The SEALs have faced increased scrutiny in recent months: Gallagher was convicted of posing with a dead ISIS fighter and his platoon commander faces a court-martial in September related to the Gallagher case, the newspaper reported. Fox News, "Navy SEAL platoon being sent home from Iraq over misconduct, reports say," 25 July 2019 The season opens with the faintest noise: A single French horn bleats a plaintive melody while a platoon of hoary men from the Royal Mail service, all wearing dark suits, shuffles into a stateroom in Buckingham Palace. Rachel Syme, The New Republic, "The Dramatic Detachment of The Crown," 12 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Bellinger, who struck out 151 times with only 69 walks, including 54 times in 186 at-bats against lefties, wound up being platooned last season. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Cody Bellinger, having the greatest season in Dodgers history, wants World Series rings like his dad," 4 June 2019 The unexpected development that underscores Oakland’s claim as one of baseball’s top defensive teams: Robbie Grossman, who platooned in left field, was named a Gold Glove finalist, too. Susan Slusser,, "A’s Robbie Grossman joins 3 teammates as Gold Glove finalists," 24 Oct. 2019 The Red Sox acquired Pearce from Toronto on June 28, 2018, to platoon with Mitch Moreland at first base., "Steve Pearce," 29 Sep. 2019 Manager Dave Roberts has limitless options at his disposal on a day-to-day basis, platooning players with delight outside of MVP candidate Cody Bellinger. Michael Shapiro,, "World Series Power Rankings: Which Division Leader Should Be the Title Favorite?," 3 Sep. 2019 Heyward appeared destined to platoon for the rest of his Cubs career and for much of 2018. Michael Shapiro,, "Gerrit Cole Gives the Astros a Scary-Good Look for October," 17 Sep. 2019 On platooning quarterbacks Analysts debated the merits of Michigan using a two-quarterback system this season. Marc Bona,, "Urban Meyer, college-football analyst: 7 things to know," 12 Sep. 2019 Even if Ramos’ development stalls next year, the Giants could also platoon Pillar with Steven Duggar, who can’t yet be counted on as an everyday option but could be a viable presence against right-handed pitchers next season. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Kevin Pillar’s year with Giants can prove value of ‘eye test’ this offseason," 3 Sep. 2019 For example: The Rays helped pioneer heavy use of defensive shifts and platooning. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Should Padres study Rays, who with less money have No. 1 farm system and 69-50 record?," 12 Aug. 2019

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

24 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Platoon.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for platoon


How to pronounce platoon (audio)

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

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


a feeling of well-being or elation

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