Definition of co-opt in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Appoint to membership of a committee or other body by invitation of the existing members.

    • ‘Five members were nominated for the forum, and they were given power to co-opt more members once a strategy had been formed.’
    • ‘He has also assured the action groups that he will co-opt one or two members on their recommendation, provided they meet his criterion.’
    • ‘New members could be co-opted on to the council.’
    • ‘If that does not happen, councillors may co-opt a new member.’
    • ‘She was first co-opted and then elected on to the professional conduct committee.’
    • ‘Further members will be co-opted at the next Council meeting.’
    • ‘Anyone who feels they have some time to spare or a particular expertise they can still volunteer and be co-opted to fill vacant committee positions - rising to the challenges and becoming involved is very rewarding.’
    • ‘If no candidate had been nominated by early next month councillors would have been given the chance to co-opt a member.’
    • ‘The Sub-Committees will co-opt members as required and in this regard will also welcome people who wish to come forward and offer their services.’
    • ‘We will elect nine people to the board, but it will have the ability to co-opt other members if necessary.’
    • ‘Deputy town clerk Linda Wakefield said the council would not be co-opting a new member.’
    • ‘So he refused to turn up at meetings after the election, meaning the council did not have enough members to conduct its business, pay its staff, or even co-opt new members to form a quorum.’
    • ‘A civil engineer, he was urgently co-opted on to the building committee, when we needed to ensure that the foundations were safeguarded from flooding.’
    • ‘A majority of the councillors then agreed to co-opt her as a member and, before last night, she had been to three meetings.’
    • ‘Other departmental managers are co-opted onto the committee when the specific issues under discussion relate to their activities.’
    • ‘If residents wanted fresh council elections, he said, ten voters from each parish had to write to the returning officer immediately, otherwise new members would be co-opted.’
    • ‘This Committee is authorised to co-opt more members, if necessary.’
    • ‘It was agreed that the officers would have the power to co-opt three members to act with them on the committee.’
    • ‘The members will be considering their options and deciding whether or not to co-opt new members onto the committee at this stage.’
    • ‘If no candidates come forward town councillors have the power to co-opt a member.’
    appoint, nominate, depute, delegate
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    1. 1.1 Divert to or use in a role different from the usual or original one.
      ‘social scientists were co-opted to work with the development agencies’
      • ‘We have lots of examples in molecular biology of components for one system being adapted or co-opted for use in a different system.’
      • ‘Are they variants of old genes that played quite different roles in the ancestors, and that have been co-opted and modified to play entirely new roles in the descendants?’
      • ‘A postmodern playfulness and irony are employed to challenge a Party icon, by co-opting fragments of an old socialist anthem as the basis of a rock song.’
      • ‘Wasn't this discussion supposed to be about how the right wing in this country is (mostly successfully) attempting to co-opt public T.V.?’
      • ‘On the other hand we can try to co-opt the mental faculties that work well (such as understanding how objects fall and roll) and get children to apply them to problems for which they lack natural competence.’
      • ‘This work tests the novel notion that cancer cells co-opt cellular pathways that govern metabolism in order to proliferate beyond a cell's normal means.’
      • ‘It will survive attempts to co-opt and appropriate it.’
      • ‘The changes also deepened the process whereby social workers and voluntary sector agencies have been co-opted into policing asylum seekers and ensuring as little money as possible is spent on them.’
      • ‘Plurality may exist, but its presence could easily be co-opted by a charismatic leadership that monopolizes decision-making.’
      • ‘As expected, these systems involve using bits co-opted from other pathways originally having different functions.’
      • ‘What is happening, of course, is that a few angry people are looking for ways to amplify their own political opinions, and are co-opting the collective voice of parents for that purpose.’
      • ‘The great monastic orders were similarly co-opted to educate, administer, and farm.’
      • ‘High profile sports figures and media personalities, with no history of political involvement, are increasingly co-opted by the establishment parties to stand as candidates.’
      • ‘The latter, however, has cleverly co-opted independent powerful women into the roles of exploiter.’
      • ‘Chris Harman looks at its attempts to co-opt movements and how socialists should react’
      • ‘Other social forces and popular movements were co-opted or repressed during the period of military government, leading to their demobilization and fragmentation.’
      • ‘While social movement theorists cite that electoral politics serve only to co-opt our work, we must ask ourselves if certain publications don't do the same.’
      • ‘Instead of people putting energy into directly working for local and global change, voting diverts and co-opts people power.’
      • ‘Eventually, though, evolution co-opted the feathers for flight.’
      • ‘It is almost as if the BBC and the media have decided they want him and are co-opting the public (and a majority of us here) in on the campaign.’
      incorporate, assimilate, integrate, appropriate, take in, subsume, include, swallow up
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    2. 1.2 Adopt (an idea or policy) for one's own use.
      ‘the green parties have had most of their ideas co-opted by bigger parties’
      • ‘In a sense, the core of the mindset becomes co-opted by commercial interests and is repackaged in a friendlier, more palatable form.’
      • ‘Did traditional forces learn to live with, succumb to, successfully oppose or ultimately co-opt the force of that idea?’
      • ‘It has even been co-opted by some who embrace the stereotypes.’
      • ‘How do we protect the ideas from being co-opted by neo-conservatives and risking greater erosion of the welfare state?’
      • ‘Of course, at some point, the oil industry co-opted this brilliant idea and flooded the market with petroleum based diesel, which was a byproduct of gasoline production, as I understand it.’
      • ‘The two parties could not ignore those third parties winning local elections and began to co-opt their themes and issues.’
      • ‘Democrats' timidity also makes it easier for the Republicans to co-opt their modest ideas, from prescription drugs to homeland security.’
      • ‘There is ample evidence of special educators co-opting ideas that in and of themselves may have some value for academic debate but that raise serious concerns about significant, negative real-world implications.’
      • ‘In any struggle for allegiances, the ruling regime might not be able to co-opt the insurgency's ideology, but it might be able to challenge its claims to legitimacy by addressing and resolving grievances.’
      • ‘The idea was quickly co-opted by every self respecting mystic and the term has since been inescapable.’
      • ‘Socialism jumped the rails when it was co-opted by the imperialist’
      • ‘It's a concept that is often co-opted by individuals and organizations that stretch its meaning to fit their own particular missions.’
      • ‘Indeed, co-opting your competition's best ideas is a time-tested political and business strategy.’
      • ‘It's hard not to feel as if you've co-opted part of their belief system just because you're using their words.’
      • ‘Here's my solution, a modest proposal: Let's co-opt the marketplace mentality of our students in service of the liberal arts.’
      • ‘Aspects of patriarchy, in my opinion, have become co-opted by commercialism and corporatism.’
      • ‘My aim is to chart how ideas about creativity, the university and the subject are co-opted by various competing ideologies.’
      • ‘‘This mayor seems to have co-opted all of the ideas the independents have,’ said Shaw, who is African American.’
      • ‘My concern with doing so is that someone else might co-opt my thoughts, ideas, or turns of phrases for use in their own submissions.’
      • ‘Even if we get 5 or 10 million votes, we'll send the Republican and Democratic parties scrambling to co-opt our platform.’
      subsume, incorporate, integrate, absorb, engulf, swallow up, take over, naturalize, adopt, embrace, accept, admit
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Mid 17th century: from Latin cooptare, from co- ‘together’ + optare ‘choose’.