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of waiters especially : a group of football players who are trained for either offense or defense and are sent into or withdrawn from the game as a body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 At Ain al-Asad, personnel used the same paper questionnaires that field medics used in remote infantry platoons in 2010. Dave Philipps And,, "Brain injuries are common in battle. The military has no reliable test for them.," 16 Feb. 2020 Though a big believer in Ronald Guzman’s value as a defender, general manager Jon Daniels was candid this winter in seeking an upgrade, or at least a platoon, because of the offensive demands of the position. Dallas News, "Nothing’s guaranteed for the oft-injured Greg Bird in Texas, but the Rangers present a significant opportunity," 11 Feb. 2020 Synopsis: Two young British soldiers are ordered to abandon the trenches and enter enemy territory to deliver a message calling off an attack on a German platoon. Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post, "Could ‘1917’ win the Oscar for best picture? The case for Sam Mendes’s WWI drama.," 5 Feb. 2020 His spot in center field will be handled by a platoon that includes Enrique Hernandez, Joc Pederson and top outfield prospect Alex Verdugo. Andy Mccullough,, "Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager to have elbow surgery and sit out rest of season," 1 May 2018 If healthy, a platoon of Winker and Ervin will likely produce comparable offense, with less K’s, better defense, and far less money. Paul Uhls,, "Guest Morning Line: Let's figure out instant replay in sports or just stop using it," 3 Jan. 2020 Aeronautical engineers have long dreamed of flying platoons of planes in a similar way, with trailing aircraft surfing the wakes of those leading the convoy. The Economist, "Aviation If aircraft can copy the way geese fly, they will save fuel," 5 Dec. 2019 Smoke and steam rise off the sidewalk meat vendors, and directly in the path ahead are platoons of hungry folk armed with plaid umbrellas, bundles of shopping bags, and plates of food. Adam H. Graham, Condé Nast Traveler, "Osaka Is a Food-Obsessed City Unlike Anywhere Else in Japan," 16 Nov. 2019 Lawrence told the Union-Tribune that no decision has been made about what consequences, if any, awaited the platoon members who allegedly drank in Iraq. Andrew Dyer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego-based SEAL Team 7 ‘command triad’ fired after platoon kicked out of Iraq," 6 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Crawford and Belt could be platooned out of the lineup, but the Brandons hope otherwise. Henry Schulman,, "Madison Bumgarner’s absence felt as Giants pitchers and catchers report," 10 Feb. 2020 For comparison, Tate has just 559 rushing yards and five touchdowns the last two seasons combined, and he’s been platooned with freshman Grant Gunnell during Wildcats current skid. Greg Moore, azcentral, "Territorial Cup: Herm Edwards has Arizona State playing for top 25; Arizona's Kevin Sumlin on hot seat," 29 Nov. 2019 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

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

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Platoon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 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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