1. A subdivision of a company of troops consisting of two or more squads or sections and usually commanded by a lieutenant.
2. A group of people working, traveling, or assembled together: a platoon of firefighters; buses carrying platoons of tourists.
3. Sports A group of players within a team, especially a football team, that is trained and sent into or withdrawn from play as a unit: the defensive platoon.
v. pla·tooned, pla·toon·ing, pla·toons
To play (a player) in alternation with another player in the same position: platooned the two catchers.
1. To use alternate players at the same position.
2. To take turns playing a position with another player.
[French peloton, from Old French, diminutive of pelote, ball; see PELLET.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.