Definition of cohort
- a cohort of premedical students
- the cohort of people born in the 1980s
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The police arrested the gang's leader and his cohorts.
Depression was a common problem for people in that age cohort.
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.
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.
: a friend or companion
: a group of people used in a study who have something (such as age or social class) in common
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