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Etymology 1

From French escouade, from Italian squadra ("square") (whence also French escadre).

Alternative forms


  • (UK) IPA(key): /'skw?d/
  • (US) IPA(key): /'skw?:d/
  • (file)


squad (plural squads)

  1. A group of people organized for some common purpose, usually of about ten members.
    1. A unit of tactical military personnel, or of police officers, usually of about ten members.
      • 1912, in The New England magazine, volume 47:
        A squad of soldiers ordered them to disperse but instead of doing so they commenced throwing ice and rocks.
    2. (cricket, soccer, rugby) A group of potential players from whom a starting team and substitutes are chosen.
    3. (informal) A collective noun for a group of squid.
      • 1970, TV Guide:
        At one point, the 400-ton Calypso was brought to a standstill by a squad of squid which clogged the engines and caused a power failure. Other, highlights included an attack by predatory blue sharks, [...]
      • 2002, Let's Go Inc., Let's Go 2003: Britain & Ireland, Let's Go Publications:
        The Sea Life Centre retains a squad of squid and such.
      • 2012, S. Louis King, Gnome Home Papers, AuthorHouse (->ISBN), page 546:
        There's several new symbols next to the doorway symbol. Beso pushed all six of them without waiting to see what they brought; like a herd of charging rhinos or rampaging squad of squid. Next best thing though.
      • 2017, Kristen Joy Wilks, Athens Ambuscade, Pelican Ventures Book Group (->ISBN)
        I pulled in as deep a breath as my gag allowed and began relaxing my body. I used a little trick I'd learned in college. I imagined that a friendly squad of squid were massaging every muscle on the bottoms of my feet; the tension began to drain.
  2. (slang) One's friend group, taken collectively; one's peeps.
Derived terms
Related terms

See also


squad (third-person singular simple present squads, present participle squadding, simple past and past participle squadded)

  1. (intransitive) To act as part of, or on behalf of, a squad.
    We squad on the fifth of the month.

Etymology 2

Uncertain. Compare squick ("disgust"), squalid ("dirty") with similar initial sounds.




  1. (Britain, dialect) Sloppy mud. [from the mid-17th c.]
    • 1875 March 13, Leicester Chronicle, quoted in the EDD:
      The lass ran all among the muck and squad.
    • 1895, Alfred Tennyson, The Poetical Works of Alfred Tennyson: Poet-laureate, page 791:
      An' she did n't not solidly mean I wur / gawin' that waäy to the bad,
      Fur the gell was as howry a trollope as / iver traäpes'd i' the squad.

Further reading

  • Robert Eden George Cole, A Glossary of Words Used in South-west Lincolnshire (1886), page 140




squad m (plural squads or squad)

  1. squad

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