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 The problem with that logic, Hill told me, is that much of that research dates from more than 10 years ago, when the absentee voting cohort was dramatically different from today. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Don’t give Coca-Cola and Delta too much credit for stance on Georgia voting law," 6 Apr. 2021 The new cohort is also more like to work in administrative or unskilled labor roles, or to be unemployed. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "The new wave of retail traders is younger, less white, and less male," 24 Mar. 2021 Will the related cohort and anyone the person was in contact with be tested and quarantined? Lisa Drayer, CNN, "Will summer camp be safe in 2021? Here's what you need to know," 23 Mar. 2021 In the process, DeLuca was stabbed by the main villain's cohort. Lincee Ray,, "Grey's Anatomy recap: A major character dies in heartbreaking midseason premiere," 12 Mar. 2021 The first cohort to seek its bachelor’s degree will likely be between 25 and 30 students, but could scale up to as many as 500 students within a few years, Vela said. Andres Picon,, "San Antonio College expands nursing program to offer the school’s first bachelor’s degree," 10 Dec. 2020 One cohort that has been outspoken is U.S. politicians. Stephen Humphries, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why Hollywood turns a blind eye to China’s human rights abuses," 17 Nov. 2020 The technology will be developed by a cohort of eight companies, which communicates information to other nearby users and UAS Service Suppliers, who will then share the data with the FAA. Samuel Woolley, Wired, "We Need to Know Who's Surveilling Protests—and Why," 3 Nov. 2020 The cohort is in turn deeply indebted to Education Minnesota, the pro-DFL lobbying entity of which the MFT is a local affiliate. Gary Marvin Davison, Star Tribune, "Editorial Counterpoint: Minneapolis schools need new leadership," 26 Oct. 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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for cohort

Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cohort.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for cohort



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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