co·​op·​er·​ate | \kō-ˈä-pə-ˌrāt \
cooperated; cooperating; cooperates

Definition of cooperate 

intransitive verb

1 : to act or work with another or others : act together or in compliance refused to cooperate with the police

2 : to associate with another or others for mutual benefit nations cooperating to fight terrorism

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Other Words from cooperate

cooperator \ kō-​ˈä-​pə-​ˌrā-​tər \ noun

Examples of cooperate in a Sentence

It will be much easier if everyone cooperates. Several organizations cooperated in the relief efforts. The country agreed to cooperate with the other nations on the trade agreement. The mother asked the child to put on his pajamas, but the child refused to cooperate. Witnesses were willing to cooperate.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But curly hair tends to have a mind of its own and sometimes doesn't want to cooperate with your plans for curl domination. Allure, "The 14 Best Gels for Curly Hair," 31 Oct. 2018 The letter noted that Strzok cooperated fully with the DOJ inspector general, who issued a report last week that was highly critical of the agent. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Peter Strzok, FBI Agent in Texting Scandal, Will Testify Before Congress," 18 June 2018 That’s particularly true when the participants don’t have a strong incentive to cooperate. Roni Dengler, Science | AAAS, "How minority viewpoints become majority ones," 7 June 2018 Drugs took hold, and residents didn’t want to cooperate with the police. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian, "Seven Planned Utopian Towns That You Can Visit Today," 23 May 2018 The Pulitzer’s board said that Díaz welcomes the review and will cooperate fully with its investigation, according to The Guardian. Anne Branigin, The Root, "Pulitzer Prize Board Will Review Junot Díaz Sexual Misconduct Claims," 11 May 2018 Of course, the show will go on rain or shine, but for the sake of kicking off May the right way — and for the fans who already purchased tickets — let’s hope Mother Nature cooperates. Jim Ayello, USA TODAY Sports, "Ayello: Pay attention to qualifying, first lap of IndyCar Grand Prix," 9 May 2018 Much of the prosecution’s case was based on testimony of Kevin Schuler, a former LPCiminelli vice president who had pleaded guilty and cooperated with the government. Benjamin Weiser, New York Times, "Architect of Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion Project Is Convicted in Bid-Rigging Scheme," 12 July 2018 The Wisconsin State Patrol responded to the crash at 7:02 a.m. The driver stayed on the scene and is cooperating with authorities. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bicyclist struck by car in Erin taken to hospital by Flight for Life," 17 June 2018

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

1582, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cooperate

Late Latin cooperatus, past participle of cooperari, from Latin co- + operari to work — more at operate

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Statistics for cooperate

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cooperate

The first known use of cooperate was in 1582

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More Definitions for cooperate



English Language Learners Definition of cooperate

: to work together : to work with another person or group to do something

: to be helpful by doing what someone asks or tells you to do

: to act in a way that makes something possible or likely : to produce the right conditions for something to happen


co·​op·​er·​ate | \kō-ˈä-pə-ˌrāt \
cooperated; cooperating

Kids Definition of cooperate

: to act or work together so as to get something done

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Comments on cooperate

What made you want to look up cooperate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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