a group of people who associate closely.
an exclusive group; clique.
a group of prairie dogs occupying a communal burrow.

Origin of coterie

1730–40; < French, Middle French: an association of tenant farmers < Medieval Latin coter(ius) cotter2 + -ie -y3

Synonym study

1. See circle. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for coterie

cadre, circle

Examples from the Web for coterie

Contemporary Examples of coterie

Historical Examples of coterie

  • The event established Mary as the arbiter in her own coterie.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • These fishermen are representative of the coterie who fish for records.

  • It was this trial that the coterie of commanders had gathered together to discuss.

  • She who only met with sympathy, who did not belong to any coterie!

    Artists' Wives

    Alphonse Daudet

  • Cicily, my dear, I think you are well rid of that coterie of cats.

    Making People Happy

    Thompson Buchanan

British Dictionary definitions for coterie



a small exclusive group of friends or people with common interests; clique

Word Origin for coterie

C18: from French, from Old French: association of tenants, from cotier (unattested) cottager, from Medieval Latin cotārius cotter ²; see cot ²
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 coterie

1738, from French coterie "circle of acquaintances," originally in Middle French an organization of peasants holding land from a feudal lord (14c.), from cotier "tenant of a cote" (see cottage).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper