Definition of platoon in English:



  • 1A subdivision of a company of soldiers, usually forming a tactical unit that is commanded by a subaltern or lieutenant and divided into three sections:

    [as modifier] ‘the platoon commander’
    • ‘A platoon of conventional marines supplemented his mechanized squad.’
    • ‘Five days ago he led his platoon into the city to fight the Iraqi army.’
    • ‘The heavy armored cavalry troop is organized with a troop headquarters, two scout platoons, two tank platoons, a mortar section, and a maintenance section.’
    • ‘A rifle platoon was tasked to delay on either flank.’
    • ‘An entire platoon of soldiers broke in through the front door.’
    • ‘The purists will argue that training lieutenants to command such complex platoons will be difficult.’
    • ‘"We have a whole platoon who refuses to sign, " he said.’
    • ‘There's a whole platoon of people sticking by you and giving support.’
    • ‘Another prominent example of 3rd platoon's contribution was in August 2000.’
    • ‘The mortar platoon is the personal artillery battery for the battalion commander.’
    • ‘A platoon of sci-fi marines are dropped into hostile territory, seething with aliens, and they go ballistic.’
    • ‘I hope this article assists in training mortar platoons in an armor battalion.’
    • ‘Our sergeant led our platoon across Crete displaying great bravery and single-handedly taking out German machine-gun positions.’
    • ‘A platoon of soldiers stands at a checkpoint on a barren road in the middle of miles and miles of trackless desert.’
    • ‘The test will be a battle simulation, using paintball guns, against a platoon of marines.’
    • ‘Tracer rounds ricochet into the sky as rounds land short of the tank platoon.’
    • ‘Another force at a light battalion commander's disposal is his antitank platoon or company.’
    • ‘The third rifle platoon was committed to reinforce success on the right flank.’
    • ‘Six months ago, he was in Baghdad leading a platoon of 33 soldiers teaching Iraqis how to be cops.’
    • ‘Also at 2nd Platoon's location was the battalion mortar platoon.’
    unit, patrol, troop, squad, team, squadron, company, group, corps, division, outfit, detachment, contingent
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A group of people acting together:
      ‘platoons of sharp lawyers’
      • ‘Prosecutors are either too timid or outgunned by the platoons of pricey defense lawyers.’
      • ‘I had my 9 a.m. acting class to teach to our platoon of body doubles.’
      • ‘Some suits already have been filed, and platoons of lawyers and other legal watchdogs are standing by in battleground states like Wisconsin just in case.’
    2. 1.2[as modifier] (in South Africa) denoting a school or schooling system in which two separate sets of teachers and pupils use the same buildings, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
    3. 1.3Baseball [as modifier] Engaged in platooning:
      ‘a platoon player’
      • ‘He joined the Mets, at first becoming a platoon partner with Ed Kranepool at first base.’
      • ‘At the very least he might land one or more useful platoon players, or an everyday guy who can deliver league-average performance at bargain rates.’
      • ‘At worst, Gibbons makes a nice platoon bat, and has been able to get by in right field, and play well at first base.’
      • ‘And Cal Ripken, just days after learning he is a platoon player from here on out, hit his first 2001 homer.’
      • ‘While weak bats may have prevented some defensive aces from starting roles, they often enjoyed long careers as backup or platoon catchers.’
      • ‘I like the Kent signing, think Valentin is okay as a platoon player, and am having hopefully not naive hopes that Perez is a player.’
      • ‘Center fielder Dave Roberts is a platoon player coming off a career year.’
      • ‘Jacque Jones is getting the chance to play against lefthanded pitchers after spending the first five weeks of the season as a platoon player in left field.’
      • ‘If Anderson falters, the team could turn to utilityman Tomas Perez, a much superior fielder, on a platoon basis.’
      • ‘He doesn't walk as much as you'd like, but he looks to be a great platoon candidate with Phillips.’
      • ‘With a .255 lifetime batting average, Ibanez appeared to be destined for a career as a platoon outfielder and backup first baseman.’
      • ‘However, the Giants would be best suited to find a left-handed hitting first baseman this winter, as Niekro makes the perfect platoon partner.’
      • ‘While he might slate in as a platoon player/back up catcher for a while, a smart organization will pluck him out of this system very soon.’
      • ‘Jones still looks like a potential platoon player, though his defense helps offset his struggles against lefthanders.’


  • 1[with object] (in South Africa) apply the platoon system to (a school):

    ‘it has been found necessary to platoon 14 schools’
  • 2Baseball
    [with object] Use the strategy of alternating (a pair of players or one player with another) in a specified field position in successive games:

    ‘at catcher we platooned Petralli and Stanley’
    • ‘In '64, when the Phils almost stole the pennant, third baseman Richie Allen and right fielder Callison were the only everyday players; all other regulars were platooned.’
    • ‘Expect Iannetta to face a good number of southpaws, as the club would be best suited to platoon the position.’
    • ‘Manager Davey Lopes plans to platoon Matt Stairs and Alex Ochoa in right field.’
    • ‘Casey platooned Brown and Billy Johnson at third.’
    • ‘Expect Walker to handle the ball even more this season with the team platooning several players at point guard.’


Mid 17th century: from French peloton platoon, literally small ball, diminutive of pelote.