Definition of cooperative in English:


(also co-operative)


  • 1Involving mutual assistance in working towards a common goal.

    ‘every member has clearly defined tasks in a cooperative enterprise’
    • ‘Toward this effort the United States has cooperative agreements with many other nations to intercept drug activity.’
    • ‘Much more common are cooperative agreements between local TV stations and the newspapers in those communities, says Northwestern's Gordon.’
    • ‘Personal responsibility, used in this way, is opposed to the concept of an inter-dependent and mutually co-operative community.’
    • ‘The co-operative commonwealth itself is, they insist, for the distant future.’
    • ‘Of course, we do have some international institutions that are making progress toward cooperative solutions.’
    • ‘Both countries agreed to work towards a constructive and cooperative relationship for the twenty-first century.’
    • ‘Some of these relationships are competitive, predatorial, and parasitic; others are mutual, cooperative, and supportive.’
    • ‘Teams that had developed collectivist rather than individualistic values were found to have cooperative goals.’
    • ‘Clearly he cannot do it alone and a remedy to this new cash crisis will only come as a joint co-operative effort by everyone concerned.’
    • ‘In this respect, the development of co-operative regimes for the common management of international watercourses has not yet been sufficiently comprehensive or effective.’
    • ‘We live in a civil society with people working for cooperative goals.’
    • ‘The earlier interest in voluntary associational schemes, such as land settlement communes and cooperative enterprises, lapsed.’
    • ‘Such top-down control over reproduction is a common feature of cooperative animal societies.’
    • ‘The authors address this question by exploring activities that are interactive, cooperative, and collaborative.’
    • ‘Increasingly, firms are changing the way they do business, away from one-off transactions which are individually negotiated, towards ongoing co-operative relationships.’
    • ‘The conversations we are imagining are cooperative attempts to find joint solutions to common problems.’
    • ‘The model here is that of a cooperative or mutual society.’
    • ‘We need a water policy, which recognises that water management must involve communities and households to become the biggest cooperative enterprise in the country.’
    • ‘I'm starting to see a trend in game design away from one-winner-take-all games and more towards cooperative games which can have multiple winners or no winners at all.’
    • ‘It is oriented specifically toward adoption of cooperative learning in postsecondary settings.’
    collaborative, collective, communal, combined, common, joint, shared, mutual, united, unified, allied, cross-party, pooled, mass, concerted, coordinated, interactive, unanimous, harmonious
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    1. 1.1Willing to be of assistance.
      ‘they have been extremely considerate, polite, and cooperative’
      • ‘Needless to say, not only are they compliant, cooperative, and suggestible, but most have already made up their minds in volunteering to help out and do exactly as they are told.’
      • ‘To my surprise most people were fairly co-operative, and no one even complained about the scoring system.’
      • ‘The partner institutions have been consistently cooperative and responsive.’
      • ‘Yet since the contracts in question have already been written, a co-operative response from the developers is essential if the new approach is to succeed.’
      • ‘Your client did not really display any very co-operative attitude towards the police officer.’
      • ‘So there's been some evidence that they're moving toward a more cooperative position with the United States.’
      • ‘I feel we ought to at least appear co-operative to minimise the scrutiny about the complaints.’
      • ‘The company are appealing for your support in this matter and would like a full and co-operative response from the public at large.’
      • ‘He is cooperative but still uncomfortable with the responsibility.’
      • ‘He is also a very co-operative and accommodating person and a joy to have around.’
      • ‘So they won't be very cooperative if our goal is just to get them to stop building.’
      • ‘They were very co-operative and helpful but their recollection was poor.’
      • ‘Come on folks, let us be co-operative and considerate towards others!’
      • ‘She has been co-operative and compliant with completing this Parenting Capacity Assessment.’
      • ‘It develops self-motivated learners and responsible, co-operative and caring adults.’
      • ‘He said most hotels were co-operative and normally helped travel agencies find other accommodation when forced to close or when under redecoration.’
      • ‘This was in response to reports that they were not being fully cooperative.’
      • ‘Participants should act in a timely and co-operative manner to prevent, detect and respond to security incidents.’
      • ‘Moreover, patient care may be compromised: informed patients are likely to be more cooperative and compliant and recover more quickly.’
      • ‘The first team was very responsive and cooperative in updating data.’
      helpful, eager to help, eager to please, glad to be of assistance, obliging, accommodating, indulgent
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    2. 1.2(of a farm, business, etc.) owned and run jointly by its members, with profits or benefits shared among them.
      • ‘It's one of the leading states embracing the cooperative business model.’
      • ‘There was no street trading, only large state-managed outlets for the distribution of goods from state-controlled co-operative farms and industries.’
      • ‘He spent six months in the country working on a co-operative farm.’
      • ‘In India, these are cooperative farms or fishing enterprises, created by the movement.’
      • ‘My friends Max and Bill, both woodworkers, were sharing a cooperative woodworking shop on the North Side, and it had an opening.’
      • ‘These have poured in from Vietnam, where cooperative farming produces much cheaper rice.’
      • ‘At independence, the government set up cooperative farms and made some attempt to redistribute land under a socialist model.’
      • ‘Eight members of our faculty carried on cooperative housekeeping.’
      • ‘According to the current legislation, neither cooperative farms nor leaseholders can use the land as a guarantee for a loan.’
      • ‘He also admitted that it would probably take two or three decades for the peasant to be convinced that cooperative agriculture would be more efficient.’
      • ‘Farmers can give away control of their cooperative businesses, but it cannot be taken away from them.’
      • ‘Respondents agreed the work still remains a cooperative business.’
      • ‘In 1889 he settled in Ireland and began preaching co-operative farming.’
      • ‘This led to the creation of large, industrialized, cooperative farms.’
      • ‘According to the tribe, their cooperative businesses have turned a profit every year since 1986.’
      • ‘Second, they are more likely to have members committed to cooperative organization than are coops founded when socialist ideology is weak.’
      • ‘Likewise, not every situation is suited for a cooperative business structure.’
      • ‘The land was once used by local Mexican farmers as public-owned cooperative farms.’
      • ‘These co-operative businesses boosted the local economy in the eighties and even led to the improvement of infrastructure in the area.’
      • ‘‘The changes are a step back to the state-controlled cooperative farms,’ he said.’


  • A farm, business, or other organization which is owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits or benefits.

    ‘we run the agency as a workers' cooperative’
    • ‘Many local grain marketing and farm supply cooperatives are not consistently profitable.’
    • ‘Members look to their cooperatives for services and support in both difficult and good times.’
    • ‘From a financial standpoint, cooperatives may need to rethink how benefits are paid.’
    • ‘Government aid can also be fairly distributed to each member of the cooperatives.’
    • ‘Most of the decline is attributed to diversified and farm supply cooperatives.’
    • ‘All companies, from multinationals to local organic cooperatives, operate in the market and therefore have to produce a profit.’
    • ‘He has published articles on affordable housing cooperatives and the economics of education.’
    • ‘In some cases, members of agricultural cooperatives were permitted to farm individually.’
    • ‘Farm supply and sugar cooperatives ended the year with larger net losses than in 2000.’
    • ‘In other parts of the world unions are active in promoting democratic worker cooperatives to organize workers.’
    • ‘Credit unions are community savings and loan co-operatives where members can save small or large amounts or borrow from the fund.’
    • ‘The trade unions and cooperatives also had 100 reserved seats each.’
    • ‘Unions, the students' federation, housing cooperatives and neighbourhood organisations all took part.’
    • ‘The share purchase obligates the cooperative to accept the unit at an established price.’
    • ‘As a political force, worker cooperatives are only beginning to find their voice.’
    • ‘The real estate assets don't affect the day-to day business of the cooperatives.’
    • ‘What must cooperatives return to members in exchange for higher levels of equity investment?’
    • ‘As those markets change, so too, do the fortunes of cooperatives and members.’
    • ‘Rosemary has been an active member of women's co-operatives since leaving university, where she completed an MA in religious studies.’
    • ‘The plant has been a great asset to its member cooperatives and has saved them a considerable amount of money.’


Early 17th century: from late Latin cooperativus, from Latin cooperat- worked together, from the verb cooperari (see cooperate).