co-opted; co-opting; co-opts

transitive verb

: to choose or elect as a member
members co-opted to the committee
: to appoint as a colleague or assistant
: to take into a group (such as a faction, movement, or culture) : absorb, assimilate
The students are co-opted by a system they serve even in their struggle against it.A. C. Danto
: take over, appropriate
a style co-opted by advertisers
co-optative adjective
co-option noun
co-optive adjective

Examples of co-opt in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Empowerment is not the right descriptor for these songs—co-opted as the word has been by girlbosses galore. Laia Garcia-Furtado, Vogue, 19 Feb. 2024 This transformation co-opts the deceased Liz’s cotton candy hue into an overripe and eventually putrid rotten hot pink, a color all Vylette’s own. Scarlett Harris, CNN, 18 Feb. 2024 As cyber-attackers co-opt complex AI models, companies like OpenAI will have to build more complex models still to come out on top—in turn prompting cyber-attackers to co-opt those... Samanth Subramanian, Quartz, 17 Feb. 2024 Weathers became the latest celebrity to have their death co-opted by the #DiedSuddenly conspiracy theory, in which vaccine skeptics insinuate that people are dropping dead after receiving a COVID vaccine. Charlie Warzel, The Atlantic, 8 Feb. 2024 And as the election nears, cabinet ministers have turned to podcasts and online broadcasts with influencers to reach a generation that gets its information outside the traditional channels that Mr. Modi has co-opted. Hari Kumar, New York Times, 3 Feb. 2024 While Pepe the Frog is widely used innocently these days, the cartoon frog was also co-opted by white supremacists years ago. Tom Warren, The Verge, 2 Feb. 2024 The director said the film was informed by her time in Magaluf in Majorca, Spain, one of a handful of Mediterranean island resorts co-opted by Brits to cut loose. Thomas Page, CNN, 2 Feb. 2024 There's a drug that helps people with a life-threatening illness survive—but it's been co-opted by other communities because there's another beneficial side effect, one that's intertwined with vanity. Margaux Anbouba, Vogue, 2 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'co-opt.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin cooptare, from co- + optare to choose

First Known Use

1651, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of co-opt was in 1651

Dictionary Entries Near co-opt

Cite this Entry

“Co-opt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


co-opted; co-opting
: to take into a group (as a faction, movement, or culture) : assimilate
: take over, appropriate sense 1
a style co-opted by advertisers

More from Merriam-Webster on co-opt

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