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or co-opt

[koh-opt] /koʊˈɒpt/
verb (used with object)
to elect into a body by the votes of the existing members.
to assimilate, take, or win over into a larger or established group:
The fledgling Labor party was coopted by the Socialist party.
to appropriate as one's own; preempt:
The dissidents have coopted the title of her novel for their slogan.
Origin of coopt
From the Latin word cooptāre, dating back to 1645-55. See co-, opt
Related forms
cooptation, co-optation, cooption, co-option
[koh-op-shuh n] /koʊˈɒp ʃən/ (Show IPA),
cooptative, co-optative
[koh-op-tuh-tiv] /koʊˈɒp tə tɪv/ (Show IPA),
cooptive, co-optive, adjective
Can be confused
co-op, coop, co-opt, coupe. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for co-opt
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I wish we could co-opt some biologists and psychologists into this," murmured Rakkan.

    Security Poul William Anderson
  • Then someone has said, "We must co-opt Mr. Raymond Stornaway."

    Sonia Married Stephen McKenna
  • Of course they "co-opt" their fellow politicians, rejected candidates, and so on.

    Mankind in the Making H. G. Wells
  • When the persons elected met they had no choice but to co-opt the 104 from the Left of the Convention.

  • The law did indeed provide that the corporations should co-opt at least one woman on their education boards.

    My Own Story Emmeline Pankhurst
British Dictionary definitions for co-opt


verb (transitive)
to add (someone) to a committee, board, etc, by the agreement of the existing members
to appoint summarily; commandeer
Derived Forms
cooption, co-option, cooptation, co-optation, noun
cooptative, co-optative, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin cooptāre to elect, from optāre to choose
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for co-opt

1650s, "to select (someone) for a group or club by a vote of members," from Latin cooptare "to elect, to choose as a colleague or member of one's tribe," from com- "together" (see com-) + optare "choose" (see option (n.)). For some reason this defied the usual pattern of Latin-to-English adaptation, which should have yielded *cooptate. Sense of "take over" is first recorded c.1953. Related: Co-opted; co-opting.



see co-opt.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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