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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a commando raid (=a raid by specially trained soldiers)
▪ There had been two unsuccessful British commando raids.
▪ One evening the conversation turned to commando raids during the war.
▪ A commando unit, wearing black jerseys, gloves and skull-caps, armed with bazookas, marched past.
▪ She learned that an army buddy of her son, who serves in an elite commando unit, had died.
▪ You will then be ready to join a commando unit.
▪ In a commando unit you will have a very active time.
▪ All Navy SEALs begin their commando careers on the beach and in the waters at the base.
▪ But, in politics, this 12-term congressman is a commando.
▪ John Durnford-Slater would have accepted this sailor's surrender, but a more angry commando shot the bomber dead.
▪ The commando chief Rosemary lost interest in leading desperate missions.
▪ The mask made me look terrifying and rather professional, like a commando.
▪ The way this raid was organised, the commando landing, and street battles make this a classic of fighting raids.
▪ Yet the commando captain shook off the discomfort of this experience and went on to reach his objective.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Commando \Com*man"do\, n. [D. See Command, v. t.]

  1. In South Africa, a military body or command; also, sometimes, an expedition or raid; as, a commando of a hundred Boers.

    The war bands, called commandos, have played a great part in the . . . military history of the country.
    --James Bryce.

  2. a usually small military unit trained to perform special missions, often behind enemy lines, and usually employing hit-and-run tactics. Such units often have the destruction of fixed targets, such as enemy installations, as their mission, in contrast to normal combat units which engage the enemy army directly.

  3. a member of a commando[2] unit.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Afrikaans, "a troop under a commander," from Portuguese, literally "party commanded" (see command (v.)); in use c.1809 during the Peninsula campaign, then from 1834, in a South African sense, of military expeditions of the Boers against the natives; modern sense is from 1940 (originally shock troops to repel the threatened German invasion of England), first attested in writings of Winston Churchill, who could have picked it up during the Boer War. Phrase going commando "not wearing underwear" attested by 1996, U.S. slang, perhaps on notion of being ready for instant action.


n. 1 A small fighting force specially trained for making quick destructive raids against enemy-held areas. 2 A commando trooper 3 (context historical English) An organized force of Boer troops in South Africa; a raid by such troops

  1. n. a member of a military unit trained as shock troops for hit-and-run raids [syn: ranger]

  2. an amphibious military unit trained for raids into enemy territory

  3. [also: commandoes (pl)]


A commando is a soldier or operative of an elite light infantry or special operations force often specializing in amphibious landings, parachuting or abseiling.

Originally "a commando" was a type of combat unit, as opposed to an individual in that unit. In other languages, commando and kommando denote a " command", including the sense of a military or an elite special operations unit.

In the militaries and governments of most countries, commandos are distinctive in that they specialize in assault on unconventional high-value targets. However, the term commando is sometimes used in relation to units carrying out the latter tasks (including some civilian police units).

In English, occasionally to distinguish between an individual commando and the unit Commando, the unit is capitalized.

Commando (1985 film)

Commando is a 1985 American action film directed by Mark L. Lester, and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rae Dawn Chong and Alyssa Milano. The film was released in the United States on October 4, 1985. The film was shot in Los Angeles.

The film was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Special Effects but lost to Back to the Future. The film's score was provided by James Horner. A critical success and commercial hit, Commando was the 7th highest-grossing R-rated movie of 1985 worldwide, and the 25th highest-grossing overall.

Commando (video game)

Commando, originally released as , is a run & gun, vertically scrolling arcade game released in . Its influence can be seen in various later games in the shooter game genre. Versions were released for various home computers and consoles. The game also appears on Capcom Classics Collection, Activision Anthology, and on the Wii Virtual Console Arcade, as well as Capcom Arcade Cabinet for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Commando (disambiguation)

A commando is an elite light infantry or special forces soldier, trained for quick raid operations.

Commando may also refer to:

Commando (horse)

Commando (1898–1905) was an American Hall of Fame Champion Thoroughbred racehorse.

Commando (pigeon)

thumb|right|A photograph of Commando from the Imperial War Museum archives. Commando was a pigeon used in service with the British armed forces during the Second World War to carry crucial intelligence. The pigeon carried out more than ninety missions during the war, and received the Dickin Medal (the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross) for three particularly notable missions in 1942. The medal was later sold at an auction for £9,200.

Commando (comics)

Commando For Action and Adventure, formerly known as Commando War Stories in Pictures, and colloquially known as Commando Comics, is a British comic book magazine that primarily draw its themes and backdrops from the various incidents of the World Wars I and II. It was first published in July 1961 and is still in print today. It's noted for its distinctive 7 × 5½ inch, 68 page format that became a standard for these kinds of stories. "Commando" has remained more popular than many other British war comics, and some would say British comics in general, despite its simplistic stories and simply sketched black and white artwork, with only the covers in colour.

The stories contain certain characteristic motifs; to mention a few - courage, cowardice, patriotism, dying for the sake of one's country, noble actions, and making a cup of refreshing tea while in the face of danger, enmity turning into friendship when the going gets tough, and so on. Apart from portraying these universal qualities, Commando Comics also show soldiers in national stereotypes, glorifying Allied soldiers, but showing soldiers as a mixture of good and evil. There was usually no continuity between books; each book was a complete story with start and finish, though recently series (2 or 3 stories) of books following the same character have been published.

Commando (1962 film)

Marcia o Crepa (March or Die) known as The Legion's Last Patrol in the UK and Commando in the US is a 1962 European (Italian, German, Spanish) co-production war film about the Algerian War of Independence. It was released in 1964 in the USA by American International Pictures on a double feature with Torpedo Bay/Beta Som.

Commando (1988 film)

Commando is a 1988 Hindi-language Indian feature film directed by B.Subhash and produced by Mushir-Riaz, starring Mithun Chakraborty, Mandakini, Amrish Puri and Hemant Birje.

Commando (2013 film)

Commando – A One Man Army is a 2013 Hindi action film directed by Dilip Ghosh and produced by Vipul Shah. The film features Vidyut Jamwal as the protagonist, Pooja Chopra and Jaideep Ahlawat as main characters.The film opened to mixed reviews with major praise directed towards Jamwal's performance and was a moderate box office success.

Commando (book)

Commando is the autobiography of guitarist and songwriter Johnny Ramone of the punk rock band The Ramones. The book was released in 2012 by Linda Ramone, surviving spouse of Johnny Ramone, following the death of Johnny in 2004 from prostate cancer.

Commando (role-playing game)

Commando is a role-playing game published by Simulations Publications, Inc. in 1979.

Commando (company)

Commando is an American underwear company based in Vermont. Founder Kerry O'Brien pioneered "raw cut" undergarments with no seams, elastic or trim on the edges. Commando is reportedly more present at red carpet events such as the Academy Awards and New York Fashion Week than any other underwear brand. The undergarments appear at over 30 New York Fashion Week shows per season.

Usage examples of "commando".

All we need is a team composed of specialist Alpinists, Commandos, mountaineers and safe-breakers and what do we have?

Now, as the sun crawled above the horizon, Kamil ordered an entire company of his Amn Al-Khass commandos, along with one of his hunter units, to begin a systematic approach to the ISET team.

South Atlantic in 1982, of 15,000 Argentinian troops and commandoes surrendering to a couple of hundred British paratroopers.

Out of his entire army, Baraka had found fifty men who would serve as commandoes to make secret night strikes inside Israel.

Jon Becken, a blond kid in his twenties, and the two engineer-trained commandos Sue Webster and Bulwant Singh Chahal.

Of course, the president would send a few Marine commando units to accompany the bibs, to make certain that all was in order.

First, however, I despatched some of my best scouts in the direction of Bloemfontein and Reddersburg, while I ordered the commandos under Generals Piet de Wet and A.

The commando who had walked in placed his survival pack, armor, and black bodysuit on the bunk opposite and stared back.

It was known that Fourie, with a considerable commando, was lurking in this district, but he and his men slipped at night between the British columns and escaped.

On April 13th the southern columns were started, but already the British preparations had alarmed the Boers, and Botha, with his main commandos, had slipped south across the line into that very district from which he had been so recently driven.

Still, with all these heavy odds against them, the various little columns continued month after month to play hide-and-seek with the commandos, and the game was by no means always on the one side.

With so many small commandos and so many pursuing columns it is extraordinary that there should not have been a constant succession of actions.

To the south of this line the Boer resistance had practically ceased, although several columns moved continually through it, and gleaned up the broken fragments of the commandos.

Larnaca Airport between Egyptian commandos and Cypriot national guardsmen, from which the hijackers of the grounded jet emerged unscathed while the airfield was littered with the burning wreckage of the Egyptian transport aircraft and dozens of dead and dying Cypriots and Egyptians.

As a trained commando unit, Desis One and Two leaped over the couch, the former using the rim of the sofa, the latter the head of Knute to vault over the couch and instantly close the distance between themselves and Sam.