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

Definition of cohabit

intransitive verb

1 : to live together as or as if a married couple They cohabited in a small apartment.
2a : to live together or in company buffaloes cohabiting with crossbred cowsBiol. Abstracts
b : 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cohabit

cohabitant \ (ˌ)kō-​ˈha-​bə-​tənt How to pronounce cohabitant (audio) \ noun
cohabitation \ (ˌ)kō-​ˌha-​bə-​ˈtā-​shən How to pronounce cohabitation (audio) \ noun

Examples of cohabit in a Sentence

They cohabited in a small apartment in the city.

Recent Examples on the Web

Indeed, that the CDU and SPD look set to retain power in their respective states will marginally relieve the pressure on the federal government in Berlin, in which the two parties cohabit unhappily. Dresden, The Economist, "Germany’s governing parties keep the far right at bay—just," 1 Sep. 2019 Detectives arrested Troy Wasner early Thursday on suspicion of inflicting injury on a spouse or cohabiting partner, arson and felony parole violation, police records show. Daily Pilot, "Police arrest 57-year-old man on suspicion of arson and domestic violence," 25 July 2019 Over all, 18 million American adults are cohabiting, up from 14 million in 2007, Census Bureau data shows. New York Times, "Dallas Church Offers Free Weddings to Couples Living Together, on One Condition," 11 July 2019 But Tobias and colleagues suspected that species that cohabit tend to be older than those that live apart. Quanta Magazine, "Does Competition Drive Diversity of Species?," 10 Mar. 2014 Perhaps, these same effects would occur with committed cohabiting partners who stay together for decades (a rare occurrence in the United States). Alan J. Hawkins, National Review, "What You Lose When You Diss the Public Good of Marriage," 10 July 2019 Americans are getting married later, divorcing more often, and cohabiting with partners without marrying. Jennifer Bernstein, Vox, "Even as I question the institution of marriage and all its traditions, I find myself still wanting a ring.," 3 July 2019 As in all communities, cohabiting bacteria need ways to exchange messages. Quanta Magazine, "Bacteria Use Brainlike Bursts of Electricity to Communicate," 5 Sep. 2017 Beyond vetting purposes, Kaitlin informed me, cohabiting has other functions. Karley Sciortino, Vogue, "Breathless: Is Living Together Worth the Risk?," 26 Mar. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of cohabit

circa 1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cohabit

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cohabit

Dictionary Entries near cohabit

cogwheel ore







Statistics for cohabit

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cohabit

The first known use of cohabit was circa 1530

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cohabit



English Language Learners Definition of cohabit

formal : to live together and have a sexual relationship
co·​hab·​it | \ kō-ˈha-bət How to pronounce cohabit (audio) \

Legal Definition of cohabit

: to live together as a married couple or in the manner of a married couple

Other Words from cohabit

cohabitation \ kō-​ˌha-​bə-​ˈtā-​shən How to pronounce cohabitation (audio) \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on cohabit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cohabit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cohabit

Spanish Central: Translation of cohabit

Nglish: Translation of cohabit for Spanish Speakers

Comments on cohabit

What made you want to look up cohabit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!