co-op·​ta·​tion ˌkō-ˌäp-ˈtä-shən How to pronounce co-optation (audio)
: the act or an instance of co-opting something : a taking over or appropriation of something for a new or different purpose
The co-optation of the raised fist as a patriotic symbol …Niela Orr
Wolfe's shrewd co-optation of hip style in service of a meat-and-potatoes cultural agenda won countless admirers, who hailed him as a brilliant satirist with a voice extravagant as America itself.Rand Richards Cooper

Examples of co-optation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Eventually, Putin headed off the nationalist threat through a mix of repression and co-optation. Jade McGlynn, Foreign Affairs, 17 Aug. 2023 When possible, the Rouhani team appears to prefer co-optation to overcome opposition from interest groups tied to hardliners such as those in the IRGC. Alex Vatanka, Foreign Affairs, 17 Oct. 2016 Intimidation played a role, co-optation played a role. Foreign Affairs, 18 Apr. 2016 Kennedy’s co-optation of Black liberation efforts in community health distorts a nuanced history. Time, 5 July 2023 Over the past several years, co-optation of language by the GOP has been on overdrive, due in part to the advent of social media. Clay Cane, CNN, 5 Apr. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1966, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of co-optation was in 1966

Dictionary Entries Near co-optation

Cite this Entry

“Co-optation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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