ca·​hoot | \ kə-ˈhüt How to pronounce cahoot (audio) \

Definition of cahoot

: partnership, league usually used in pluralthey'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 Referees were irked by Anastasiades’ remarks during the event that some referees are in cahoots with corrupt individuals within the sport that lead international soccer bodies to point the finger at Cyprus over suspected match-fixing. Washington Post, "Cyprus FA suspends all matches after ref walkout over attack," 17 Jan. 2020 Particularly since the police were allegedly in cahoots with the rampaging mob. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "“Shoot the traitors”: Bone-chilling scenes as mob ravages top Indian university under cops’ nose," 5 Jan. 2020 In the mix, there's the conniving soon-to-be stepmom and the in-cahoots household help. Joyce Bautista Ferrari, Marie Claire, "The Best Family Movies for Grown-Ups and Kids Alike," 11 Dec. 2019 Sometimes parents are in cahoots, receiving a kickback for signing false attendance records. Ryan Faircloth, Twin Cities, "MN DHS revamps troubled office that investigates child care fraud. ‘Extremely impressed,’ one critic says.," 27 Oct. 2019 And Chris Cox, its top lobbyist who is widely viewed as a successor to LaPierre, resigned after being accused of being in cahoots with North in a failed attempt to oust LaPierre as CEO. Washington Post, "NRA tax filing: Embattled CEO earned about $2 mil last year," 16 Nov. 2019 General Electric, which boasts a new CEO and a board packed with accounting experts, insists that Markopolos is both wrong and in cahoots with short-sellers. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "How the Man Who Nailed Madoff Got GE Wrong," 3 Oct. 2019 Gruden might have been the driving force, but the two were in cahoots at the start of this strange journey. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, "Kurtenbach: There’s only one solution to the Raiders’ Antonio Brown problem," 5 Sep. 2019 More recently, Chris Cox, its top lobbyist and widely viewed as a successor to LaPierre, resigned after LaPierre accused him of being in cahoots with North in a failed attempt to oust him as CEO. Washington Post, "Scandal-ridden NRA head LaPierre digs in against gun control," 9 Aug. 2019

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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The first known use of cahoot was in 1827

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Last Updated

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cahoot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for cahoot


ca·​hoot | \ kə-ˈhüt How to pronounce cahoot (audio) \

Kids Definition of cahoot

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

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