a small number of soldiers, commonly 10 privates, a staff sergeant, and a corporal; the smallest military unit.
a group of police officers, especially one organized to deal with a particular area of law enforcement: drug squad; fraud squad.
any small group or party of persons engaged in a common enterprise.
a sports team or a group of players from which a team is selected.
verb (used with object), squadded, squadding.
to form into squads.
to assign to a squad.

1640–50; < French esquade, alteration of esquadre < Spanish escuadra square; so called from square shape of the formation

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World English Dictionary
squad (skwɒd)
1.  the smallest military formation, typically comprising a dozen soldiers, used esp as a drill formation
2.  any small group of people engaged in a common pursuit
3.  sport a number of players from which a team is to be selected
[C17: from Old French esquade, from Old Spanish escuadra, from escuadrar to square, from the square formations used]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1649, "small number of military men detailed for some purpose," from Fr. esquade, from M.Fr. escadre, from Sp. escuadra or It. squadra "battalion," lit. "square," from V.L. *exquadra (see square). Until the introduction of automatic weapons, infantry troops tended to fight
in a square formation to repel cavalry or superior forces. Sports sense is recorded from 1902.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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