Definition of cahoots in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /kəˈhuːts/

plural noun

(in phrase in cahoots) informal
Colluding or conspiring together secretly: the area is dominated by guerrillas in cahoots with drug traffickers
More example sentences
  • Together they connive in cahoots and scheme to create the world's worst musical, a guaranteed catastrophic dog of a show.
  • With their regular penchant for not only making political mischief, they now appear to be in cahoots together by dispatching letters which do not appear to make any rational sense.
  • The mystical and the managerial are secretly in cahoots.


Early 19th century (originally US): of unknown origin.

  • To be in cahoots with someone is to be working in collusion with them. It is an American expression, recorded in the early 19th century in the neutral sense of ‘in league or partnership’. Nowadays the expression invariably suggests dishonesty and conspiracy. Where cahoots comes from is uncertain. It might derive from the French word cahute, meaning ‘a hut or cabin’, with the idea of plotting together in an intimate closed environment. Or it may be an alteration of cohort ( see courteous) based on the notion of a group of people working closely together.

Words that rhyme with cahoots


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ca|hoots

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.