Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small fighting force specially trained for making quick destructive raids against enemy-held areas.
  • n. A member of such a force.
  • n. An organized force of Boer troops in South Africa.
  • n. A raid made by such a force.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small fighting force specially trained for making quick destructive raids against enemy-held areas
  • n. A commando trooper
  • n. An organized force of Boer troops in South Africa; a raid by such troops

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. In South Africa, a military body or command; also, sometimes, an expedition or raid.
  • n. 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.
  • n. a member of a commando{2} unit.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A military expedition or raid undertaken by private individuals for personal ends; more specifically, the name given to the quasimilitary expeditions undertaken by the Boers and English farmers of South Africa against the natives.
  • n. The enrolled militia of an electoral district in the late Dutch republics of South Africa.
  • n. A unit of the Boer army commanded by an officer whose title was Commandant.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an amphibious military unit trained for raids into enemy territory
  • n. a member of a military unit trained as shock troops for hit-and-run raids

Etymologies

Afrikaans kommando, from Dutch commando, unit of troops, from Spanish comando, from comandar, to command, from Late Latin commandāre; see command.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Afrikaans kommando, from Portuguese comando ("command"), from Late Latin *commandare, from Latin commendare, from com- + mandare. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • 1. Not wearing underpants.
    2. A state of vestment that leaves certain extremeties exposed or unclothed (used as a modifier), as in:

    "It's not so cold and windy today, so I'll forgo the balaclava and go face commando."
    "Wading across this icy river makes me wish I hadn't decided to go foot commando."

    Note that usage (1) is a special case of usage (2), with underpants the inferred item of missing clothing.

    December 19, 2006