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’
    • ‘The mortar platoon is the personal artillery battery for the battalion commander.’
    • ‘The test will be a battle simulation, using paintball guns, against a platoon of marines.’
    • ‘There's a whole platoon of people sticking by you and giving support.’
    • ‘I hope this article assists in training mortar platoons in an armor battalion.’
    • ‘A platoon of sci-fi marines are dropped into hostile territory, seething with aliens, and they go ballistic.’
    • ‘Five days ago he led his platoon into the city to fight the Iraqi army.’
    • ‘Another force at a light battalion commander's disposal is his antitank platoon or company.’
    • ‘A rifle platoon was tasked to delay on either flank.’
    • ‘The purists will argue that training lieutenants to command such complex platoons will be difficult.’
    • ‘Another prominent example of 3rd platoon's contribution was in August 2000.’
    • ‘A platoon of conventional marines supplemented his mechanized squad.’
    • ‘Also at 2nd Platoon's location was the battalion mortar platoon.’
    • ‘An entire platoon of soldiers broke in through the front door.’
    • ‘"We have a whole platoon who refuses to sign, " he said.’
    • ‘The third rifle platoon was committed to reinforce success on the right flank.’
    • ‘Our sergeant led our platoon across Crete displaying great bravery and single-handedly taking out German machine-gun positions.’
    • ‘Six months ago, he was in Baghdad leading a platoon of 33 soldiers teaching Iraqis how to be cops.’
    • ‘The heavy armored cavalry troop is organized with a troop headquarters, two scout platoons, two tank platoons, a mortar section, and a maintenance section.’
    • ‘Tracer rounds ricochet into the sky as rounds land short of the tank platoon.’
    • ‘A platoon of soldiers stands at a checkpoint on a barren road in the middle of miles and miles of trackless desert.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Prosecutors are either too timid or outgunned by the platoons of pricey defense lawyers.’
    2. 1.2as 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. 1.3as modifier Engaged in platooning.
      ‘a platoon player’
      • ‘At worst, Gibbons makes a nice platoon bat, and has been able to get by in right field, and play well at first base.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, the Giants would be best suited to find a left-handed hitting first baseman this winter, as Niekro makes the perfect platoon partner.’
      • ‘Center fielder Dave Roberts is a platoon player coming off a career year.’
      • ‘With a .255 lifetime batting average, Ibanez appeared to be destined for a career as a platoon outfielder and backup first baseman.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If Anderson falters, the team could turn to utilityman Tomas Perez, a much superior fielder, on a platoon basis.’
      • ‘Jones still looks like a potential platoon player, though his defense helps offset his struggles against lefthanders.’
      • ‘And Cal Ripken, just days after learning he is a platoon player from here on out, hit his first 2001 homer.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He joined the Mets, at first becoming a platoon partner with Ed Kranepool at first base.’
      • ‘While weak bats may have prevented some defensive aces from starting roles, they often enjoyed long careers as backup or platoon catchers.’
      • ‘He doesn't walk as much as you'd like, but he looks to be a great platoon candidate with Phillips.’


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

    ‘it has been found necessary to platoon 14 schools’
  • 2with 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’
    • ‘Expect Iannetta to face a good number of southpaws, as the club would be best suited to platoon the position.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.