• synonyms


or co-opt

verb (used with object)
  1. to elect into a body by the votes of the existing members.
  2. to assimilate, take, or win over into a larger or established group: The fledgling Labor party was coopted by the Socialist party.
  3. to appropriate as one's own; preempt: The dissidents have coopted the title of her novel for their slogan.
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Origin of coopt

From the Latin word cooptāre, dating back to 1645–55. See co-, opt
Related formsco·op·ta·tion, co-op·ta·tion, co·op·tion, co-op·tion [koh-op-shuh n] /koʊˈɒp ʃən/, nounco·op·ta·tive, co-op·ta·tive [koh-op-tuh-tiv] /koʊˈɒp tə tɪv/, co·op·tive, co-op·tive, adjective
Can be confusedco-op coop co-opt coupe
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cooptation

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The Communists perceived a dual purpose in their cooptation of this institution.

    Area Handbook for Bulgaria

    Eugene K. Keefe, Violeta D. Baluyut, William Giloane, Anne K. Long, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole

British Dictionary definitions for cooptation



verb (tr)
  1. to add (someone) to a committee, board, etc, by the agreement of the existing members
  2. to appoint summarily; commandeer
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Derived Formscooption, co-option, cooptation or co-optation, nouncooptative or 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

Word Origin and History for cooptation


1530s, "election to fill a vacancy," from Latin cooptationem (nominative cooptatio) "election," noun of action from past participle stem of cooptare (see co-opt). Related: Cooptative.

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see co-opt.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper