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From obsolete French plauton, variant of peloton, from Middle French pelote + -on. Doublet of peloton. Compare pellet.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /pləˈtuːn/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uːn


platoon (plural platoons)

  1. (military) A unit of thirty to forty soldiers typically commanded by a lieutenant and forming part of a company.
    • 1960 March, G. Freeman Allen, “Europe's most luxurious express - the "Settebello"”, in Trains Illustrated, page 140:
      Needless to say, one's seat must be booked in advance and a platoon of urbane officials, one to each door of the train, awaits passengers to usher them to their seats and relieve them of their bulkier baggage.
  2. A group of self-driving vehicles travelling in a close convoy and communicating electronically with each other.
  3. (education, historical) A group of children in the platoon grouping education system.



platoon (third-person singular simple present platoons, present participle platooning, simple past and past participle platooned)

  1. (baseball) To alternate starts with a teammate of opposite handedness, depending on the handedness of the opposing pitcher
    Taylor has been hitting poorly against left-handers, and Morgan has been hitting poorly against right-handers, so they will platoon.
  2. (sports) To specialize in a particular position or playing style.
    • 2014, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Greatest Moments in Iowa Hawkeyes Football History:
      You must understand the rules of football in 1939. There was no platooning, so each man played both offense and defense.
  3. Of self-driving vehicles: to travel in a close convoy, each vehicle communicating electronically with the others.

See also[edit]