See more synonyms for cohort on
  1. a group or company: She has a cohort of admirers.
  2. a companion or associate.
  3. one of the ten divisions in an ancient Roman legion, numbering from 300 to 600 soldiers.
  4. any group of soldiers or warriors.
  5. an accomplice; abettor: He got off with probation, but his cohorts got ten years apiece.
  6. a group of persons sharing a particular statistical or demographic characteristic: the cohort of all children born in 1980.
  7. Biology. an individual in a population of the same species.

Origin of cohort

1475–85; < Middle French cohorte < Latin cohort- (stem of cohors) farmyard, armed force (orig. from a particular place or camp), cohort, retinue, equivalent to co- co- + hort- (akin to hortus garden); replacing late Middle English cohors < L nominative singular

Synonyms for cohort

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Usage note

A cohort was originally one of the ten divisions of a legion in the Roman army, containing from 300 to 600 men. The most common use of cohort today is in the sense “group” or “company”: A cohort of hangers-on followed the singer down the corridor. In a development emphasizing the idea of companionship, cohort has also come to mean a single companion, associate, or the like: The senator strode into the room followed by his faithful cohort, his son-in-law. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cohort

Contemporary Examples of cohort

Historical Examples of cohort

  • The cohort on duty was drawn up under arms at the palace gates.


    Jacob Abbott

  • I must,” replied Marcus; “but it will be dreadful for the first cohort which leads.

    Marcus: the Young Centurion

    George Manville Fenn

  • When Uncle Si and his cohort got through with them they were as billowy as the surface of the ocean.

    The House

    Eugene Field

  • Nevertheless, he disregarded the "cohort," and paid the money into the treasury.

    The Life of Cicero

    Anthony Trollope

  • Certainly, if the butchers of the Schwarzburg are to form my cohort.

British Dictionary definitions for cohort


  1. one of the ten units of between 300 and 600 men in an ancient Roman Legion
  2. any band of warriors or associatesthe cohorts of Satan
  3. mainly US an associate or follower
  4. biology a taxonomic group that is a subdivision of a subclass (usually of mammals) or subfamily (of plants)
  5. statistics a group of people with a statistic in common, esp having been born in the same year

Word Origin for cohort

C15: from Latin cohors yard, company of soldiers; related to hortus garden
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

Word Origin and History for cohort

early 15c., "company of soldiers," from Middle French cohorte (14c.) and directly from Latin cohortem (nominative cohors) "enclosure," meaning extended to "infantry company" in Roman army (a tenth part of a legion) through notion of "enclosed group, retinue," from com- "with" (see co-) + root akin to hortus "garden," from PIE *ghr-ti-, from root *gher- "to grasp, enclose" (see yard (n.1)). Sense of "accomplice" is first recorded 1952, American English, from meaning "group united in common cause" (1719).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cohort in Medicine


  1. A defined population group followed prospectively in an epidemiological study.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.