Definition of cohabit in English:



  • 1Live together and have a sexual relationship without being married.

    ‘an increasing number of couples are cohabiting’
    ‘Mary is now cohabiting with Paul’
    • ‘Lately the idea of being married or cohabiting with someone has been rather appealing, strictly from an convenience/economics point of view.’
    • ‘But a family secret was being kept from her: Sylvia, cohabiting with an Italian socialist and anarchist, had given birth to a son the previous December.’
    • ‘There is no equivalent presumption in the case of unmarried men, even where they are cohabiting with the mother.’
    • ‘He has been married once - for ten months - and has had two live-in relationships, but he cohabited with her longer than with the three women put together.’
    • ‘In any event, Miss Y was offended by the suggestion that she was cohabiting with Mr X, and the newspaper had to pay up.’
    • ‘The most auspicious moment to work with unwed fathers, says Horn, is around the time of the birth of their children, when almost half are cohabiting with the mothers.’
    • ‘She was born when her mother was cohabiting with a man who was not her father.’
    • ‘The criteria for inclusion in the study were that each woman be over the age of 18, expecting her first child, and cohabiting with a male partner.’
    • ‘The person was cohabiting with the mother of the child in a relationship of some permanence at the time of the birth of the child.’
    • ‘She has no intention of marrying him or cohabiting with him.’
    • ‘I have been cohabiting with my partner for over five years.’
    • ‘The number of unmarried adults cohabiting with the opposite sex has soared from 439,000 in 1960 to 4,736,000 in 2000.’
    • ‘Happily cohabiting with her partner of 28 years, she has a talented daughter, and no skeletons have emerged from the closet of her beautiful Toronto home.’
    • ‘He has been cohabiting with this woman for ten years, and has two children.’
    • ‘He soon discovered his wife was cohabiting with Tang and finally tracked them down.’
    • ‘The events they examined included living with parents, cohabiting with a partner, being the primary caregiver for a child, attending school, and having a job.’
    • ‘Amanda began cohabiting with Barnaby when she moved into his house six years ago.’
    • ‘First, a man is ‘conclusively presumed’ to be the father of a child if he is both married to and cohabiting with the mother, as long as he is not sterile or impotent.’
    • ‘It would predict that men cohabiting with women will have higher rates of promiscuity than men who marry their female partners.’
    • ‘He was dismissed after the evangelical vicar discovered that he had long been cohabiting with his long-standing partner.’
    live together, live with, live, live together as husband and wife, live together as man and wife, sleep with, sleep together
    shack up with
    live in sin, live over the brush
    View synonyms
  • 2Coexist.

    ‘animals that can cohabit with humans thrive’
    • ‘When the English eventually took control from the Dutch in 1664, all continued to cohabit quite nicely together.’
    • ‘I like to think of poetry as something which is able to cohabit with other discourses, if it can establish the right to stand beside them.’
    • ‘Physically we may inhabit the present, but in our minds the past and the future are comfortably cohabiting with it.’
    • ‘This film seems intended to suggest that he preferred to cohabit with animals rather than American citizens during the Vietnam War.’
    • ‘Her poems could be cajoling and vituperative, making love and war simultaneously, her sensual lyrics cohabiting with performance pieces.’
    • ‘Yet unless people find a way to steam-clean each crevice of the city every day, rats will continue to cohabit with us in uneasy harmony.’
    • ‘By understanding their needs, you can peacefully cohabit with black bears to their benefit and yours.’
    • ‘Due to flaws in the structural design of our Constitution, however, a popularly elected president is forced to cohabit with a legislature in which the opposition is the majority party.’
    • ‘The issue of liberal bias cohabiting with immense media power was on the table.’
    • ‘Darker body color is typically seen in the losers of fights at their conclusion and will also characterize that animal if it remains to cohabit with the winner as a social subordinate.’
    • ‘This appeared to indicate that sea and coarse fish were cohabiting quite happily together.’
    • ‘Two basic types of termites may be cohabiting with you: drywood and subterranean.’
    • ‘I have no desire to cohabit with a hound, however high-bred.’
    • ‘Next you should consider the size of your house: do you have ample space for the new dog to cohabit with the owners and any existing pets?’
    • ‘How will the general cohabit with a parliament largely hostile to him?’
    • ‘But he reminds us of the astringent truth that the preposterous has no trouble cohabiting with the malevolent.’


Mid 16th century: from Latin cohabitare, from co- together + habitare dwell.