ca·​hoot | \kə-ˈhüt \

Definition of cahoot 

: partnership, league usually used in plural they're in cahootsHe was robbed by a man who was in cahoots with the bartender.

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Did You Know?

Cahoot is used almost exclusively in the phrase "in cahoots," which means "in an alliance or partnership." In most contexts, it describes the conspiring activity of people up to no good. (There's also the rare idiom go cahoots, meaning "to enter into a partnership," as in "they went cahoots on a new restaurant.") "Cahoot" may derive from French cahute, meaning "cabin" or "hut," suggesting the notion of two or more people hidden away working together in secret. "Cahute" is believed to have been formed through the combination of two other words for cabins and huts, "cabane" and "hutte."

Examples of cahoot in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

And so was her husband: the late UAW Vice President General Holifield, who prosecutors said was in cahoots with a Fiat Chrysler executive who siphoned $4.5 million from a training fund and steered it to himself, Holiefield, his widow and others. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Feds: Widow of UAW boss is 'trying to buy her way out of prison'," 7 July 2018 Some 300 people have been killed since April in a country of 6.2m according to human-rights groups, almost all of them unarmed protesters at the hands of paramilitary thugs acting in cahoots with Mr Ortega’s police. The Economist, "Daniel Ortega is causing a bloodbath in Nicaragua," 12 July 2018 NBC News Capitol Hill reporter Leigh Ann Caldwell on Tuesday deleted a tweet that had triggered backlash, claiming President Trump and retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy were in cahoots to get Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the seat. Brian Flood, Fox News, "NBC News reporter deletes tweet claiming Trump, Kennedy were in cahoots over Kavanaugh selection," 10 July 2018 That is exactly what Playboy model Karen McDougal claims happened in 2016 when the National Enquirer bought her story about her affair with Trump and killed it, in cahoots with Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. Caryn James, The Hollywood Reporter, "Critic's Notebook: The Prescient Political Films of 1998," 27 June 2018 The sight of the CHP, a secularist party, in cahoots with the SP, an Islamist one, probably has their respective founders, Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey, and Necmettin Erbakan, a former prime minister, turning in their graves. The Economist, "Turkey’s opposition scents success against Erdogan," 2 June 2018 The Fourth Estate's fly-on-the-wall, nuts and bolts look at how the sausage gets made has the potential to undercut outlandish right wing conspiracy theories about corrupt, liberal journalists in cahoots to poison the sausage. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "The New York Times," 25 May 2018 Amid all the backlash, Schlossberg also was kicked out of his Madison Avenue workspace, because who really wants to be in cahoots with a racist? Breanna Edwards, The Root, "Watching the Racist Lawyer Who Threatened to Call ICE on Spanish Speakers Run Away From Reporters Is My New Favorite Thing Ever," 18 May 2018 Prosecutors have said Holiefield was in cahoots with Iacobelli, who siphoned $4.5 million from a training fund and steered it to himself, Holiefield, Morgan and others. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Incoming UAW boss was aboard $1,600 bus ride cited in scandal," 20 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cahoot.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cahoot

1827, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cahoot

perhaps from French cahute cabin, hut

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Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

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The first known use of cahoot was in 1827

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More Definitions for cahoot


ca·​hoot | \kə-ˈhüt \

Kids Definition of cahoot

: a secret partnership usually used in pl. They were in cahoots with the thieves.

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obstinately defiant of authority

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