co·​hort | \ ˈkō-ˌhȯrt How to pronounce cohort (audio) \

Definition of cohort

1 : companion, colleague a few of their … cohorts decided to form a company— Burt Hochberg
2a : band, group a cohort of supporters
b : a group of individuals having a statistical factor (such as age or class membership) in common in a demographic study a cohort of premedical students the cohort of people born in the 1980s
c : one of 10 divisions of an ancient Roman legion
d : a group of warriors or soldiers

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Did You Know?

In ancient times, a cohort was a military unit, one of ten divisions in a Roman legion. The term passed into English via French in the 15th century, when it was used in translations and writings about Roman history. Once cohort became established in our language, its meaning was extended, first to refer to any body of troops, then to any group of individuals with something in common, and later to a single companion. Some usage commentators have objected to this last sense because it can be hard to tell whether the plural refers to different individuals or different groups. The companion sense is well established in standard use, however, and its meaning is clear enough in such sentences as her cohorts came along with her to the game.

Examples of cohort in a Sentence

The police arrested the gang's leader and his cohorts. Depression was a common problem for people in that age cohort.
Recent Examples on the Web Just 155 studies met the team's criteria for being included in the meta-review based on standards such as the size of the cohort, the nature of the study and the end points researchers chose for concluding their inquiries. Ryan Prior, CNN, "After saving his own life with a repurposed drug, a professor reviews every drug being tried against Covid-19. Here's what he's found," 27 June 2020 If someone comes down with the coronavirus, the cohort would be sent home for a 14-day quarantine, rather than the whole school. Erin Allday,, "Bay Area districts weigh how big of a risk to take in reopening schools: ‘It’s a gamble’," 26 June 2020 The black cohort into which Parks was born possessed a similar knowledge. National Geographic, "Why does this legendary Black photographer's work continue to resonate today?," 26 June 2020 The fascinating story of beekeeper John Miller and his cohort, Nordhaus’ explanation of bee culture, and her breakdown of the likely causes of colony collapse disorder. Rochelle M. O’gorman, The Christian Science Monitor, "The four best audiobooks of June to take you places," 23 June 2020 Schools should consider having students remain with a single group or cohort to minimize the number of students and staff that must isolate if a case is confirmed. Dallas News, "East Texas high school suspends summer workout program after football player tests positive for coronavirus," 11 June 2020 Starting in October 2004, the authors retrospectively followed the 26 million individuals included in their cohort through December 2016. Shraddha Chakradhar, STAT, "Handgun ownership vastly increases suicide risk, large study confirms," 3 June 2020 Another writer of that cohort is Toni Morrison, who was born in Ohio in 1931 and became a Catholic at the age of twelve. Paul Elie, The New Yorker, "How Racist Was Flannery O’Connor?," 15 June 2020 Tristan Taylor, one of the new movement's leaders, said at the Algiers site that the younger cohort is ready to make its own history. Joe Guillen,, "From 1967 to George Floyd: Detroit activists connect the dots to fight inequality," 14 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cohort.' 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 cohort

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2c

History and Etymology for cohort

Middle English, from Latin cohort-, cohors — more at court

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Time Traveler for cohort

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The first known use of cohort was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cohort.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce cohort (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cohort

often disapproving : a friend or companion
technical : a group of people used in a study who have something (such as age or social class) in common


co·​hort | \ ˈkō-ˌhȯ(ə)rt How to pronounce cohort (audio) \

Medical Definition of cohort

: a group of individuals having a statistical factor (as age or risk) in common the population consisted of two cohorts: 204 clearly exposed and 163 not exposed— R. R. Suskind et al

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More from Merriam-Webster on cohort

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cohort

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cohort

Spanish Central: Translation of cohort

Nglish: Translation of cohort for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cohort for Arabic Speakers

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