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Definition of "co-opt" [co-opt]

  • To elect as a fellow member of a group. (verb-transitive)
  • To appoint summarily. (verb-transitive)
  • To take or assume for one's own use; appropriate: co-opted the criticism by embracing it. (verb-transitive)
  • To neutralize or win over (an independent minority, for example) through assimilation into an established group or culture: co-opt rebels by giving them positions of authority. (verb-transitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "co-opt" in a sentence
  • "A similar trend briefly emerged in the early 2000s, but the authorities were largely able to intimidate or co-opt the challengers."
  • "On the one hand, I want to be like “How dare you co-opt Wolverine and Transformers as part of the Action genre?!?” but then I realized that it is merely another example of how Sci-Fi is the new Mainstream."
  • "Then in a televised speech Thursday, Maliki, who had begun the week welcoming the protest, urged people to stay away, saying the event seemed "suspicious" and was likely to be infiltrated by al-Qaeda or perhaps loyalists of Sadaam Hussein's Baath Party or "terrorists" seeking to co-opt it for their own purposes."