Definition of cohort in English:


Line breaks: co¦hort
Pronunciation: /ˈkəʊhɔːt


  • 2 [treated as singular or plural] A group of people with a shared characteristic: a cohort of civil servants patiently drafting legislation
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    • The rollback has been gradual, first offering free doctor's visits to children, then pensioners, then subsidies to various cohorts of adults - and now, it finally seems to be bearing fruit.
    • Exactly how China's future cohorts of young men are to be socialized with no prospect of settled family life and no tradition of honorable bachelorhood is a question that can be asked today, but not answered.
    • Modern warfare, modern weaponry is so hi-tech that if you try to run our defences on the basis of conscription, you have your professional soldiery permanently employed training successive cohorts of conscripts.
  • 2.1A group of people with a common statistical characteristic: the 1940-4 birth cohort of women
    More example sentences
    • Although biomass allocation patterns were statistically significant between cohorts during juvenile growth stages, the most obvious differences were at late-fruiting.
    • Later age of onset of first drug use was significantly associated with delayed age of first treatment among all male birth cohorts and females born before 1971.
    • Similarly, the association of family and school problems with early age of onset of escalated drug use was also consistent across gender and birth cohorts.
    group, grouping, category, categorization, grade, grading, classification, class, set, section, division, order, batch, list; age group, generation
  • 3often • derogatory A supporter or companion: young Jack arrived with three of his cohorts a long-time cohort of the band
    More example sentences
    • How to understand the older generation which supported Hitler and his cohorts?
    • Elaine May plays Frenchy's batty sister and Tony Darrow, Michael Rapaport and John Lovitz offer able support as Ray's cohorts.
    • For the easily confused, a cast directory helps you to identify all the various roles for the Pythons and their supporting cohorts.


late Middle English: from Old French cohorte, or from Latin cohors, cohort- 'yard, retinue'. Compare with court.


The earliest sense of cohort is ‘a unit of men within the Roman army’. In the mid 20th century a new sense developed in the US, meaning ‘a companion or colleague’, as in young Jack arrived with three of his cohorts . Although this use is well established (it accounts for the majority of the citations for this word in the Oxford English Corpus), some people object to it on the grounds that cohort should only be used for groups of people, never for individuals.

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