Definition of commando in English:



  • 1A soldier specially trained for carrying out raids.

    [as modifier] ‘a commando attack’
    • ‘If the government needs some well trained commandos, quickly, these are the men who will go.’
    • ‘Special military commandos using tanks entered the district, and helicopters carried out surveillance overhead; the air space was closed down for a radius of 7 kilometres.’
    • ‘Kept carefully out of the media has been many of the operations of over a thousand Special Forces and commandos known to be in the area.’
    • ‘The ensuing fire-fight left the gun-boat beyond use and it left the 20 landing craft carrying the commandos unprotected.’
    • ‘He had been leading his squad of commandos towards a target of a group of houses when he spotted enemy soldiers hiding in the houses.’
    • ‘Eventually, commandos from the Army and the Royal Marines were combined into four brigades.’
    • ‘Training was similar to that carried out by the commandos, with emphasis placed on raiding, sentry elimination, ambushing, cross-country night navigation exercises, and target attacks.’
    • ‘More than 100 US commandos and British SAS soldiers are now in southern Afghanistan, setting up road blocks.’
    • ‘Those commandos, who previously trained together with their colleagues from the American special forces, have served with distinction.’
    • ‘The mobilisation includes paramilitary forces, regular soldiers and specially trained commandos.’
    • ‘The commandos carried out operations against invading Japanese forces, during WW2.’
    • ‘Specially selected commandos, backed by artillery and tanks, surrounded the temple walls.’
    • ‘Upon completion of the selection phase, potential commandos are trained in a vast array of necessary skills.’
    • ‘There, French commandos raided the plane, killing all of the hijackers.’
    • ‘As they rounded a corner another squad of heavily armed commandos sprang from around the next building.’
    • ‘This operational capability requires commandos to be trained and equipped differently to conventional infantry soldiers.’
    • ‘Heavily armed police commandos and Army soldiers, backed by armored cars, patrolled the town barely an hour after the explosions.’
    • ‘The crisis ended with a dawn raid by Thai commandos.’
    • ‘And there's more new equipment to come, this time for Australia's special forces, including SAS soldiers and commandos.’
    • ‘Food rations and special-forces commandos are being airlifted into Afghanistan.’
    1. 1.1A unit of commandos.
      ‘he saw service in a Marine Commando’
      • ‘According to the Washington Post, the operation will include the CIA working with commandos and other military units to act immediately on intelligence uncovered by American spies about enemy targets.’
      unit, outfit, force
      View synonyms


Late 18th century (denoting a militia, originally consisting of Boers in South Africa): from Portuguese (earlier form of comando), from commandar to command, from late Latin commandare (see command).