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[kuh-man-doh, -mahn-] /kəˈmæn doʊ, -ˈmɑn-/

noun, plural commandos, commandoes.

any military unit organized for operations similar to those of the commandos of World War II.
a member of a military assault unit or team trained to operate quickly and aggressively in especially urgent, threatening situations, as against terrorists holding hostages.
noun (pl) -dos, -does

the basic unit of the Royal Marine Corps
(originally) an armed force raised by Boers during the Boer War
(modifier) denoting or relating to a commando or force of commandos: a commando raid, a commando unit
(informal) go commando, to wear no underpants

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.


A person who behaves roughly and overeagerly, esp in lovemaking

Related Terms

bedpan commando

[Students fr WWII Army; fr the Commandos, elite British shock troops of WWII]


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  • Commando procedure

    commando procedure com·man·do procedure (kə-mān’dō) n. A surgical operation for malignant tumors of the floor of the oral cavity, involving resection of portions of the mandible in continuity with the oral lesion and radical neck dissection.

  • Command paper

    noun 1. (in Britain) a government document that is presented to Parliament, in theory by royal command See also green paper, white paper

  • Command-performance

    noun 1. a performance of a play, opera, ballet, or the like, given at the request of a sovereign or head of state. noun 1. a performance of a play, opera, etc, at the request of a ruler or of royalty noun a social occasion one is required to attend An occasion that one is […]

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