cohort

Definitions

General Science

  • noun a group of individuals sharing a common factor such as age or a set of circumstances

Commerce

  • noun a group of people who do the same thing at the same time (such as a group of managers who joined a company as trainees together)

Health Economics

  • (written as Cohort)
    A well-defined group of subjects having a common experience or exposure, which is then followed over time.

Medical

Origin & History of “cohort”

Etymologically, cohort is an ‘enclosed yard’. It comes via Old French cohorte from Latin cohors, a compound noun formed from the prefix com- ‘with’ and an element hort-which also appears in Latin hortus ‘garden’ (source of English horticulture) and is related to English garden, yard, and the second element of orchard. From the underlying sense of ‘enclosed place’ it came to be applied to a crowd of people in such a place, and then more specifically to an infantry company in the Roman army. Its meaning has spread figuratively in English to ‘band of associates or accomplices’, whose frequent use in the plural led to the misapprehension that a single cohort was an ‘associate’ or ‘accomplice’ – a usage which emerged in American English in the mid 20th century.

The original form of the Latin word is well preserved in cohort, but it has also reached us, more thickly disguised, as court.
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