com·​man·​do | \ kə-ˈman-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce commando (audio) \
plural commandos or commandoes

Definition of commando

1 South Africa
a : a military unit or command of the Boers
b : a raiding expedition
2a : a military unit trained and organized as shock troops especially for hit-and-run raids into enemy territory
b : a member of such a unit
go commando
slang : to wear no underwear

Examples of commando in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The group's ranks have dropped to about 1,500 to 2,000 fighters, about half from its peak levels in 2016 before U.S. airstrikes and Afghan commando raids took a toll. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 27 Aug. 2021 In just 10 days, the Taliban took control of every provincial capital across the nation, despite the Afghan government wielding a 300,000 strong, U.S.-funded and equipped military, an air force and special commando units. Washington Post, 20 Aug. 2021 At first, elite commando units would come once a week on a resupply run. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, 14 Aug. 2021 In Helmand's provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan's elite commando forces aided by regular troops were trying to dislodge the Taliban but with little success, said Nafeeza Faiez, a provincial council member., 7 Aug. 2021 Afghan forces have retaken some districts, but both the Afghan Air Force and its commando forces — which have been deployed to hold what territory remains as regular army and police units retreat, surrender or refuse to fight — are exhausted. New York Times, 6 Aug. 2021 Taylor, 39, was killed in Afghanistan in November 2018, shot by an Afghan commando in the unit Taylor was helping to train. Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 Aug. 2021 Though Machine Gun Kelly has been rocking a beachy, shoulder-length head of flaxen hair recently, the rapper-turned-emo-rocker whose twitter handle refers to his luxurious locks appears to have gone commando for his next project. Taylor Mims, Billboard, 11 Aug. 2021 One of those killed in Dawlat Abad was a 32-year-old commando Sohrab Azimi, who spent two years at a military school in the US and was due to marry his American fiancée next month. Paul Callan, CNN, 3 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'commando.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of commando

1839, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for commando

Afrikaans kommando, from Dutch commando command, from Spanish comando, from comandar to command, from Late Latin commandare

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About commando

Time Traveler for commando

Time Traveler

The first known use of commando was in 1839

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near commando

command module



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for commando

Last Updated

5 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Commando.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for commando



English Language Learners Definition of commando

: a soldier who is trained to carry out surprise attacks on an enemy


com·​man·​do | \ kə-ˈman-dō How to pronounce commando (audio) \
plural commandos or commandoes

Kids Definition of commando

1 : a unit of troops trained for making surprise raids into enemy territory
2 : a member of a commando


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!