/keuh man"doh, -mahn"-/, n., pl. commandos, commandoes.1. (in World War II)a. any of the specially trained Allied military units used for surprise, hit-and-run raids against Axis forces.2. any military unit organized for operations similar to those of the commandos of World War II.3. 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.[1785-95; < Afrik kommando raid, raiding party, a unit of militia < Pg commando unit commanded, n. deriv. of commandar to COMMAND]
* * *In British military forces, a unit consisting of marines and soldiers organized for rapid deployment and trained to conduct special operations.The commando originated with the Boers in South Africa, where it was the administrative and tactical unit "commandeered" by law. In World War II the British adopted the term for a new specially trained amphibious raiding force. Modern commandos are units of the Royal Marines with support troops from the British Army; by extension a member of such a unit is also called a commando and is entitled to wear a green beret.
* * *military unit—roughly equivalent to an infantry battalion—consisting of men especially trained to employ guerrilla-like shock tactics ranging from hand-to-hand combat to hit-and-run raids. A member of such a unit is also called a commando. In general usage, the term also refers to irregular or guerrilla tactics carried out by small regular units. The commando originated with the Boers (Boer) in South Africa, where it was the administrative and tactical unit “commandeered” by law.
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