Definition of commando in US English:


nounPlural commandos

  • 1A soldier specially trained to carry out raids.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And there's more new equipment to come, this time for Australia's special forces, including SAS soldiers and commandos.’
    • ‘Upon completion of the selection phase, potential commandos are trained in a vast array of necessary skills.’
    • ‘Specially selected commandos, backed by artillery and tanks, surrounded the temple walls.’
    • ‘Eventually, commandos from the Army and the Royal Marines were combined into four brigades.’
    • ‘As they rounded a corner another squad of heavily armed commandos sprang from around the next building.’
    • ‘Food rations and special-forces commandos are being airlifted into Afghanistan.’
    • ‘The mobilisation includes paramilitary forces, regular soldiers and specially trained commandos.’
    • ‘This operational capability requires commandos to be trained and equipped differently to conventional infantry soldiers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If the government needs some well trained commandos, quickly, these are the men who will go.’
    • ‘Heavily armed police commandos and Army soldiers, backed by armored cars, patrolled the town barely an hour after the explosions.’
    • ‘The ensuing fire-fight left the gun-boat beyond use and it left the 20 landing craft carrying the commandos unprotected.’
    • ‘The commandos carried out operations against invading Japanese forces, during WW2.’
    • ‘There, French commandos raided the plane, killing all of the hijackers.’
    • ‘The crisis ended with a dawn raid by Thai commandos.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1 A unit of soldiers specially trained to carry out raids.
      • ‘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.

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


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).