squadron

Definitions

General English

Military

  • noun a small tactical grouping of warships
  • noun an air force unit consisting of two or more flights, i.e. between ten and eighteen aircraft
  • noun a company-sized tank grouping of three or more troops
  • noun a battalion-sized armoured cavalry grouping, consisting of three cavalry troops, one tank company and one battery
  • abbreviationSqn

Origin & History of “squadron”

A squadron is etymologically a ‘square’. The current sense ‘military group’ comes from an earlier ‘square formation of troops’. The word was borrowed from Italian squadrone, a derivative of squadra ‘square’, which comes from the same source as English square. The related squad (17th c.) comes from French escouade, an alteration of escadre, which was acquired from Italian squadra.
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