[ pluh-toon ]
/ pləˈtun /


a military unit consisting of two or more squads or sections and a headquarters.
a small unit of a police force.
a company or group of persons: a platoon of visitors.
Football. a group of players specially trained in one aspect of the game, as offense or defense, and used as a unit: a halfback on the offensive platoon.

verb (used with object)

  1. to use (a player) at a position in a game alternately with another player or players.
  2. to alternate (two different teams or units), as separate offensive and defensive squads.

verb (used without object)

  1. to alternate at a position with another player or players.
  2. to use players alternately at the same position.
  3. to alternate different teams.

Nearby words

  1. platonic solids,
  2. platonic year,
  3. platonism,
  4. platonist,
  5. platonize,
  6. platoon sergeant,
  7. plattdeutsch,
  8. platte,
  9. platteland,
  10. plattensee

Origin of platoon

1630–40; earlier plotton < French peloton little ball, group, platoon, diminutive of pelote ball. See pellet, -oon Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for platoon

British Dictionary definitions for platoon


/ (pləˈtuːn) /


military a subunit of a company usually comprising three sections of ten to twelve men: commanded by a lieutenant
a group or unit of people, esp one sharing a common activity, characteristic, etc

Word Origin for platoon

C17: from French peloton little ball, group of men, from pelote ball; see pellet

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for platoon
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper