co·​hab·​it (ˌ)kō-ˈha-bət How to pronounce cohabit (audio)
cohabited; cohabiting; cohabits

intransitive verb

: to live together as or as if a married couple
They cohabited in a small apartment.
: to live together or in company
buffaloes cohabiting with crossbred cowsBiol. Abstracts
: to exist together
… two strains in his philosophy … cohabit in each of his major works.Justus Buchler
So riches seemed to provoke their own discomfort, and affluence cohabited with anxiety.Simon Schama
cohabitant noun
cohabitation noun

Examples of cohabit in a Sentence

They cohabited in a small apartment in the city.
Recent Examples on the Web The two families, between whom distrust and paranoia mounts, are forced to cohabit as society seemingly and eerily unravels around them. Lacey Rose, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Dec. 2023 The result of all of this is that many people who cohabit don’t have binding legal agreements between them. Martin Shenkman, Forbes, 13 Aug. 2023 But because the platform was dominated by a single cohabiting clique, the company had nowhere to turn. Taylor Lorenz, Washington Post, 28 Sep. 2023 Each of those gets a gallery where very different works by very different artists cohabit. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 5 Sep. 2023 But transferring life partners (trading the bulk of your primary attention away from your cohabiting bestie to the men in your lives) does not mean that you are headed to a bestie divorce. Amy Dickinson, Washington Post, 20 Sep. 2023 If Boyfriend and Girlfriend marry instead of cohabiting gifts between them, assuming that the are both US citizens are of no import as the unlimited gift tax marital deduction would obviate any gift tax issues. Martin Shenkman, Forbes, 13 Aug. 2023 This study was limited by a fairly small sample of cohabiting heterosexual parents. Darby Saxbe, The Conversation, 5 June 2023 Finance and logistics were also major factors, at least according to a survey released in February, in which 80 percent of cohabiting Gen Z couples cited one or both of those factors. Hannah Nguyen,, 5 May 2023

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

Word History


Late Latin cohabitare, from Latin co- + habitare to inhabit, from frequentative of habēre to have — more at give

First Known Use

circa 1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cohabit was circa 1530

Dictionary Entries Near cohabit

Cite this Entry

“Cohabit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


co·​hab·​it kō-ˈhab-ət How to pronounce cohabit (audio)
: to live together as or as if a married couple
cohabitation noun

Legal Definition


intransitive verb
co·​hab·​it kō-ˈha-bət How to pronounce cohabit (audio)
: to live together as a married couple or in the manner of a married couple
cohabitation noun

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