noun (plural commandos)
- The mobilisation includes paramilitary forces, regular soldiers and specially trained commandos.
- This operational capability requires commandos to be trained and equipped differently to conventional infantry soldiers.
- Training was similar to that carried out by the commandos, with emphasis placed on raiding, sentry elimination, ambushing, cross-country night navigation exercises, and target attacks.
- informal Wear no underpants.Example sentences
- Women should go commando or wear loose fitting pajamas/nightgowns with no panties.
- Can you imagine having to recount the day you were found wearing grubby underwear or even worse, you were discovered going commando!
- And yes, as some of you will see in these paparazzi photos, she appears to go commando.
Late 18th century (denoting a militia, originally consisting of Boers in South Africa): from Portuguese (earlier form of comando), from commandar 'to command', from late Latin commandare (see command).
In early use commando was a word for an armed unit of Boer horsemen in South Africa. During the Second World War the name was adopted to describe troops specially trained to repel the threatened German invasion of England. The word came into English from Portuguese, but is based on Latin commandare ‘to command’ from com- (giving emphasis) and mandare ‘commit, command, entrust’. To go commando is to wear no underpants, said to be common among commandos. This curious phrase dates back to the 1980s and probably originated as American college slang, although it was popularized by its use in an episode of the 1990s TV comedy Friends. Also from South Africa and the same period is commandeer from Afrikaans. Command itself came into use in Middle English, taken from the Latin via French. From the same root come remand (Late Middle English) ‘command back’; commend (Middle English), formed in the same way as command, but with the sense ‘entrust’ and recommend (Late Middle English); and demand (Middle English) ‘command formally’.
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