[noun, adverb koh-op; verb koh-op, koh-op]
verb (used with object), co-oped or co-opped, co-op·ing or co-op·ping.
  1. to place in a cooperative arrangement, especially to convert (an apartment or building) to a cooperative.
  1. (of a game, especially a video game) cooperative, requiring players to work together to achieve a common objective:co-op play modes;co-op multiplayer games.
  1. go co-op, to convert to a cooperative: Our apartment building is going co-op.

Origin of co-op

First recorded in 1860–65; shortened form
Related formsco-op·er, noun
Can be confusedco-op coop co-opt coupe


[koop, koo p]
  1. an enclosure, cage, or pen, usually with bars or wires, in which fowls or other small animals are confined for fattening, transportation, etc.
  2. any small or narrow place.
  3. Slang. a prison.
  4. Sometimes Facetious. a cooperative, especially the cooperative bookstore of a college or university.
verb (used with object)
  1. to place in or as if in a coop; confine narrowly (often followed by up or in).
verb (used without object)
  1. Slang. (of a police officer) to park and sleep inside one's patrol car while on duty.
  1. fly the coop, Informal. to run off; depart abruptly; escape: We stopped to see my sister, but she'd flown the coop.

Origin of coop

1250–1300; Middle English coupe basket, perhaps < Scandinavian; compare Norwegian kaup wooden can; akin to Old English cȳpa basket
Related formsun·coop, verb (used with object)
Can be confusedco-op coop co-opt coupe. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cooping

Historical Examples of cooping

  • And after the cooping up of shipboard we were both in the mood to appreciate its beauty.

  • Cooping thus has its advantages and disadvantages, and its adoption or not should depend upon circumstances.


    Hugh Piper

  • A good deal of evidence was given of the great extent to which the system of cooping was carried on at elections.

  • Alderman Bolingbroke also stated instances of cooping that came under his notice as a magistrate.

  • They, cooping you in the city, lead you to your pleasures, and make you tame and submissive to their hands.

British Dictionary definitions for cooping


  1. a cage or small enclosure for poultry or small animals
  2. a small narrow place of confinement, esp a prison cell
  3. a wicker basket for catching fish
  1. (tr; often foll by up or in) to confine in a restricted area

Word Origin for coop

C15: probably from Middle Low German kūpe basket, tub; related to Latin cūpa cask, vat




  1. a cooperative, cooperative society, or shop run by a cooperative society


the internet domain name for
  1. a cooperative
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 cooping



"small cage for poultry," mid-14c., from Old English cype, cypa "basket, cask," akin to Middle Dutch kupe, Swedish kupa, and all probably from Latin cupa "tub, cask," from PIE *keup- "hollow mound" (see cup (n.)).



1861, abbreviation of cooperative. The hyphen is needed to avoid confusion with coop (n.).



1560s, from coop (n.). Related: Cooped; cooping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with cooping


see fly the coop.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.