Definition of Tommy in US English:


(also tommy)


  • A British private soldier.

    • ‘On either side of them the Tommies were relieved 2 & 3 times.’
    • ‘In March 1917 he received one of those wounds named affectionately by Tommies as a ‘Blighty’ wound - bad enough for you to be sent back home but not bad enough to keep you incapacitated for ever.’
    • ‘But didn't he, by running those fake pictures, put lives of Tommies at risk?’
    • ‘Thousands of British Tommies passed through on their way from or to the frontline.’
    • ‘All the visitors born in the war admitted their perceptions had been largely shaped by comics such as Victor and Tiger, where lone Tommies ventured behind enemy lines to blow up an ammunition dump and return with a captured SS general.’
    • ‘We do get on well because the Tommies did liberate Crete, but what they did immediately afterwards was not made public.’
    • ‘The Tommies, the British soldiers, they would sing to the melody of ‘Auld Lang Syne.’’
    • ‘An Irish giant, with his officers and brother Tommies dying and dead around him, he continued the task he had set himself of clearing a way through the Turkish wire.’
    • ‘The time is ripe over here for a revival of the song the British Tommies liked to sing on the way to the trenches.’
    • ‘But they did make it, and met up with some Tommies, who pointed out which way to go.’
    • ‘France at that time, he says, was full of former Tommies on the run, many of whom had taken up with local girls.’
    • ‘She does this not with hackneyed images of shell-shocked Tommies, but principally through simple visual metaphor.’
    • ‘I fled and a few days later I scaled a fence - and dropped at the feet of two Tommies.’
    • ‘That opening stutter of the Mars theme is just a musical interpretation of machine guns; you can see the jerky film of the Tommies going over the top, tripping over the barbed wire and being cut down.’
    private soldier, common soldier
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