Definition of co-opt in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌkəʊˈɒpt/


[with object]
1Appoint to membership of a committee or other body by invitation of the existing members: the committee may co-opt additional members for special purposes
More example sentences
  • This Committee is authorised to co-opt more members, if necessary.
  • The members will be considering their options and deciding whether or not to co-opt new members onto the committee at this stage.
  • It was agreed that the officers would have the power to co-opt three members to act with them on the committee.
1.1Divert to or use in a role different from the usual or original one: [with object and infinitive]: social scientists were co-opted to work with the development agencies
More example sentences
  • Instead of people putting energy into directly working for local and global change, voting diverts and co-opts people power.
  • Are they variants of old genes that played quite different roles in the ancestors, and that have been co-opted and modified to play entirely new roles in the descendants?
  • Chris Harman looks at its attempts to co-opt movements and how socialists should react
1.2Adopt (an idea or policy) for one’s own use: the green parties have had most of their ideas co-opted by bigger parties
More example sentences
  • My concern with doing so is that someone else might co-opt my thoughts, ideas, or turns of phrases for use in their own submissions.
  • There is ample evidence of special educators co-opting ideas that in and of themselves may have some value for academic debate but that raise serious concerns about significant, negative real-world implications.
  • Of course, at some point, the oil industry co-opted this brilliant idea and flooded the market with petroleum based diesel, which was a byproduct of gasoline production, as I understand it.



Example sentences
  • As resistance movements have begun to reach out across national borders and pose a real threat, governments have developed their own strategies for dealing with them, ranging from co-optation to repression.
  • When I first looked at these images beside each other, I was amazed by the speed of corporate co-optation.
  • In the end, it probably doesn't matter, as the wave of co-optation and consolidation swings through the communities.


Example sentences
  • Mr Reid's disqualification as a councillor led to three candidates being nominated for co-option onto the council last week.
  • Is the disgust directed here at design actually disgust at its co-option by consumerism, its low aspirations?
  • It is expected that there will be two further co-options in September.


Example sentences
  • It is a call to ‘transform the country's prevailing power into a co-optive hegemony - one in which leadership is exercised more through shared conviction with enduring allies than by assertive domination.’
  • Maybe one reason he is getting away with blue murder on security and his co-optive version of nationalism is the connivance of the media.
  • But someone must raise a voice against the abysmally low standards on view-a Protest (old-fashioned word) against the co-optive abuse of cinema by supposed experts in another field, who turn out to be incompetent in it.


Mid 17th century: from Latin cooptare, from co- 'together' + optare 'choose'.

Words that rhyme with co-opt

adopt, Copt, opt

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: co-opt

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