co·​hort | \ˈkō-ˌhȯrt \

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

Hunt puts together a mission to buy the plutonium before The Apostles can get their hands on it, enlisting his usual cohorts: Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames, still the master of deadpan reactions) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg). Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "In Mission: Impossible - Fallout, being the good guy has serious consequences," 27 July 2018 His steadfastness has earned him visits from other Arab leaders who were disappointed with the Obama administration's support of Arab revolutions that unseated their cohorts. Jamie Tarabay, CNN, "When it comes to Syria, Trump can tweet and launch strikes if he wants, but not much else," 9 Apr. 2018 Unbeknownst to the dealers, court records show, the DEA caught the mule mid-trip with the real cocaine — about $400,000 worth — then set his cohorts up in a sting. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "The coke was fake, but the bust was real. Feds nab 3 men in $400K drug deal," 28 Mar. 2018 The plaintiffs in the lawsuit pointed out, though, that the humpback subspecies seen along the California coast didn’t fare nearly as well as their cohorts in the rest of the world. Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, "Suit says Trump administration failed to protect humpback whales," 17 Mar. 2018 Estephanie De La Cruz is an undocumented organizer in Texas and a member of the Build The Dream leadership cohort at United We Dream, which is developing youth leaders across the country. Judith Ohikuare, Seventeen, "Activism Fatigue Is Real And Here's How You Can Fight Against It," 17 Oct. 2018 Fallout begins with a new IMF mission: after Hunt captured Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) in Rogue Nation, Lane’s criminal cohorts have reorganized under the name The Apostles, and are trying to obtain some missing plutonium. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "In Mission: Impossible - Fallout, being the good guy has serious consequences," 27 July 2018 Questions about whether Macron's cohorts are above the law were virulently raised in parliament on Thursday. Elaine Ganley, Fox News, "Macron's security aide detained, was filmed beating activist," 20 July 2018 Rather than trying to keep pace with a student’s grade cohort back home, these parents trusted that their kids wanted to and would learn through piquing their natural curiosity with unfamiliar surroundings. Bliss Broyard, Condé Nast Traveler, "I Took My Kids Out Of School for Three Months to Travel," 13 July 2018

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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Statistics for cohort

Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cohort

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

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More Definitions for cohort



English Language Learners Definition of cohort

: a friend or companion

: 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 \

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cohort

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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