Definition of commando in English:



  • 1A soldier specially trained for carrying out raids.

    as modifier ‘a commando attack’
    • ‘Eventually, commandos from the Army and the Royal Marines were combined into four brigades.’
    • ‘The ensuing fire-fight left the gun-boat beyond use and it left the 20 landing craft carrying the commandos unprotected.’
    • ‘If the government needs some well trained commandos, quickly, these are the men who will go.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Specially selected commandos, backed by artillery and tanks, surrounded the temple walls.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The mobilisation includes paramilitary forces, regular soldiers and specially trained commandos.’
    • ‘The commandos carried out operations against invading Japanese forces, during WW2.’
    • ‘And there's more new equipment to come, this time for Australia's special forces, including SAS soldiers and commandos.’
    • ‘Those commandos, who previously trained together with their colleagues from the American special forces, have served with distinction.’
    • ‘Upon completion of the selection phase, potential commandos are trained in a vast array of necessary skills.’
    • ‘More than 100 US commandos and British SAS soldiers are now in southern Afghanistan, setting up road blocks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The crisis ended with a dawn raid by Thai commandos.’
    • ‘Food rations and special-forces commandos are being airlifted into Afghanistan.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Heavily armed police commandos and Army soldiers, backed by armored cars, patrolled the town barely an hour after the explosions.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1 A 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


  • go commando

    • informal Wear no underpants.

      • ‘Women should go commando or wear loose fitting pajamas/nightgowns with no panties.’
      • ‘Can you imagine having to recount the day you were found wearing grubby underwear or even worse, you were discovered going commando!’
      • ‘Generally, there's nothing wrong with going commando, but personally, I believe underwear serves an important function.’
      • ‘And instead of going commando all day long, use them as your pajama replacement.’
      • ‘I decided to go commando since I would just be dining in tonight.’
      • ‘I just want to know is it okay to go commando to get rid of visible panty lines?’
      • ‘But no, I wasn't going commando, so don't get any ideas.’
      • ‘Phoebe's new boyfriend likes to go commando.’
      • ‘And yes, as some of you will see in these paparazzi photos, she appears to go commando.’
      • ‘Count yourself lucky they don't feel the need to go commando.’


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).