Definition of platoon in US English:



  • 1A subdivision of a company of soldiers, usually forming a tactical unit that is commanded by a lieutenant and divided into several sections.

    • ‘Also at 2nd Platoon's location was the battalion mortar platoon.’
    • ‘A rifle platoon was tasked to delay on either flank.’
    • ‘"We have a whole platoon who refuses to sign, " he said.’
    • ‘Tracer rounds ricochet into the sky as rounds land short of the tank platoon.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Another force at a light battalion commander's disposal is his antitank platoon or company.’
    • ‘The purists will argue that training lieutenants to command such complex platoons will be difficult.’
    • ‘An entire platoon of soldiers broke in through the front door.’
    • ‘I hope this article assists in training mortar platoons in an armor battalion.’
    • ‘Six months ago, he was in Baghdad leading a platoon of 33 soldiers teaching Iraqis how to be cops.’
    • ‘Another prominent example of 3rd platoon's contribution was in August 2000.’
    • ‘The test will be a battle simulation, using paintball guns, against a platoon of marines.’
    • ‘The mortar platoon is the personal artillery battery for the battalion commander.’
    • ‘Our sergeant led our platoon across Crete displaying great bravery and single-handedly taking out German machine-gun positions.’
    • ‘A platoon of sci-fi marines are dropped into hostile territory, seething with aliens, and they go ballistic.’
    • ‘A platoon of conventional marines supplemented his mechanized squad.’
    • ‘A platoon of soldiers stands at a checkpoint on a barren road in the middle of miles and miles of trackless desert.’
    • ‘The third rifle platoon was committed to reinforce success on the right flank.’
    • ‘There's a whole platoon of people sticking by you and giving support.’
    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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I had my 9 a.m. acting class to teach to our platoon of body doubles.’
    2. 1.2 (in baseball and other sports) a pairing of two or more teammates who play the same position at different times.
      ‘in 1982 the Orioles employed a productive left-field platoon of Lowenstein, Ayala, and Roenicke’
      • ‘The two could form a right-left platoon at the position.’
      • ‘Coach Hubie Brown has gotten players to buy into his philosophy and to sacrifice their playing time as part of two-man platoons at every position.’
      • ‘Coaches must be willing to teach, give young players regular playing time and work platoons at several positions because the team is committed to developing its young talent.’
      • ‘The first base platoon of Julio Franco and Matt Franco has offered so-so production.’
      • ‘If he hits enough, Johnson, 27, could form a platoon with Ramon Hernandez.’


[with object]
  • 1(in baseball and other sports) have (an athlete) play in rotation with one or more teammates at the same position.

    ‘he was underrated because of Stengel's platooning him with Woodling’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1no object Play a sport using platoon strategy.
      ‘Polonia mostly platooned in his three years with the A's’
      • ‘He is expected to platoon in right field with Jeffrey Hammonds and newcomer Michael Tucker.’
      • ‘Speaking about platooning, Bobby said, ‘Nobody liked to platoon, but it's better than sitting all the time.’’
      • ‘He also thinks that platooning weakens some players.’
      • ‘McAuliffe remained with the Tigers for five more seasons, eventually platooning with veteran second baseman Tony Taylor, before being traded to the Boston Red Sox for slugging outfielder Ben Oglivie in 1974.’
      • ‘Expect these two players to platoon until one proves he is worthy of playing every day.’


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