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of waiters especially : a group of football players who are trained for either offense or defense and are sent into or withdrawn from the game as a body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 The question is when these systems will not be just an exotic rarity on the frontline, but every infantry platoon will have a drone operator with a pack full of different drones to use against different threats. Seth J. Frantzman, National Review, "A Pilotless Pilot Program," 14 Sep. 2020 To the second: How many teams use platoon situations at short? Evan Grant, Dallas News, "Rangers place Elvis Andrus on IL with continued back issues, call up 3B Sherten Apostel for MLB debut," 13 Sep. 2020 Transfusing some of that antibody-rich blood to someone who is still sick with the same infection gives them a new platoon of soldiers, ready to help boost their immune system and fight off the disease. Sara Harrison, Wired, "Blood Centers Are Barely Meeting Convalescent Plasma Demand," 11 Sep. 2020 It’s now a platoon spot shared by Dickerson and Darin Ruf, and a third person entered the fold in Tuesday night’s 6-5 comeback win over Seattle, Luis Basabe, and Kapler expertly used all three to help capture the victory. John Shea,, "Giants playoff-bound? Gabe Kapler pressing right buttons, saying right things," 9 Sep. 2020 As a result, few recruits have been removed from platoons for showing symptoms of the virus, and when recruits are removed, there are fewer incidents of contagion within a platoon. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "No resistance to mask-wearing at largest Army combat training center," 3 Sep. 2020 Along the way, these officers typically have led smaller units at the platoon and company level, acquiring specialized leadership and tactical skills for leading forces into battle. USA Today, "Where are the Black officers? US Army shows diversity in its ranks but few promotions to the top," 1 Sep. 2020 Ravens coaches haven’t divulged what the offensive workload might look like, insisting that a platoon strategy will benefit the team over the course of a 16-game regular season. Daniel Oyefusi,, "‘Significant role’ likely awaits rookie Dobbins; Madubuike ‘week-to-week’ after injury in scrimmage | NOTES," 1 Sep. 2020 Beyond their regular starters, Josh VanMeter and switch-hitter Robel García are the only infielders on the 40-man roster who have a platoon advantage against right-handed pitchers. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, "Dick Williams: Cincinnati Reds hope to add to roster at MLB Trade Deadline," 22 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Quick thoughts: Glasgow was moved from center and still had a very good season, even though the Lions platooned him at right guard. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Here's which Detroit Lions will stay or go in free agency," 12 Jan. 2020 Lin has swung the bat well and Chavis will be needed to platoon with Moreland. Peter Abraham,, "Our latest prediction on the Red Sox’ Opening Day roster," 2 Mar. 2020 Given the opportunity to start last year, the left-handed hitter was platooning by May due to ineffectiveness against lefties and was sent to the minors for six weeks in July. Dallas News, "Rangers spring training issues: Texas faces a sad reality at first base entering camp," 5 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

26 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Platoon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 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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