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

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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 The Pew data show, for instance, that the chief reason cohabiting partners offer for not being married is a lack of financial readiness. Washington Post, "Married people have happier, healthier relationships than unmarried couples who live together, data show," 20 Nov. 2019 The survey’s respondents, 57% of whom were married and 9% of whom were cohabiting, had notably different levels of trust in their partners. Belinda Luscombe, Time, "More People Think It's Fine for Unwed Couples to Live Together. Here's Why Many Still Think Marriage Is Better," 6 Nov. 2019 But is there any harder evidence that this kind of activity is common among married and cohabiting Americans—and causing problems for them? Washington Post, "Flirting online and relationship troubles go hand-in-hand, even if no one finds out, new research shows," 6 Aug. 2019 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

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for cohabit

Time Traveler

The first known use of cohabit was circa 1530

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Statistics for cohabit

Last Updated

13 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Cohabit.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for cohabit


How to pronounce cohabit (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on cohabit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cohabit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cohabit

Spanish Central: Translation of cohabit

Nglish: Translation of cohabit for Spanish Speakers

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