co·​op·​er·​ate kō-ˈä-pə-ˌrāt How to pronounce cooperate (audio)
cooperated; cooperating; cooperates

intransitive verb

: to act or work with another or others : act together or in compliance
refused to cooperate with the police
: to associate with another or others for mutual benefit
nations cooperating to fight terrorism
cooperator 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.
Recent Examples on the Web Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s suggestion that China would send new pandas to the U.S. was a minor gesture in an otherwise bitter rivalry but symbolic of attempts by both governments to find areas to cooperate. James T. Areddy, WSJ, 16 Nov. 2023 The authors believe that this challenges another existing idea that a shared culture and traits are necessary components for groups to cooperate with one another. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 16 Nov. 2023 In two cases, police noted the mayor or his wife refused to cooperate with the active investigation. Kyle Hopkins, ProPublica, 11 Nov. 2023 The mayor has not been accused of any wrongdoing and continues to cooperate with the investigation. Marcia Kramer, CBS News, 10 Nov. 2023 The city and its police department were informed of the investigation this week, according to DOJ, and promised to cooperate with investigators. Alexander Mallin, ABC News, 9 Nov. 2023 Even when competing countries seem to abandon diplomacy, the institution remains a place where adversaries can hash out their differences and find opportunities to cooperate. Richard Gowan, Foreign Affairs, 9 Nov. 2023 The driver stayed and cooperated with investigators, Plocki said. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Nov. 2023 The 50-year-old suspect stayed at the scene and cooperated with authorities, the sheriff said, adding that the pro-Palestinian demonstrator was among those who called 911 to get help for Kessler. Rachel Pannett, Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cooperate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1582, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cooperate was in 1582

Dictionary Entries Near cooperate

Cite this Entry

“Cooperate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


co·​op·​er·​ate kō-ˈäp-(ə-)ˌrāt How to pronounce cooperate (audio)
cooperated; cooperating
: to act, work, or associate with others so as to get something done

More from Merriam-Webster on cooperate

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