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1. The act or practice of cooperating.
2. The association of persons or businesses for common, usually economic, benefit.

co·op′er·a′tion·ist n.


(kəʊˌɒpəˈreɪʃən) or


1. joint operation or action
2. assistance or willingness to assist
3. (Economics) economics the combination of consumers, workers, farmers, etc, in activities usually embracing production, distribution, or trade
4. (Environmental Science) ecology beneficial but inessential interaction between two species in a community
coˌoperˈationist, co-ˌoperˈationist n


or co-op•er•a•tion

(koʊˌɒp əˈreɪ ʃən)

1. the action of working or acting together for a common purpose or benefit.
2. the combination of persons for purposes of production, purchase, or distribution for their joint benefit.
3. Ecol. mutually beneficial interaction among organisms living in a limited area.
[1620–30; < Late Latin]




chip in To make a contribution, either of money or of time and effort; to interrupt or butt in. This expression probably derives from the game of poker in which chips, representing money, are placed by players in the “pot.” Putting chips in the “pot” is equivalent to entering the game. Figurative uses of the phrase play on the idea of “entering the game”—that is, becoming involved. Ways of “chipping in” range from giving money to a charity or participating in a joint enterprise to “putting one’s two cents in.” Such uses of the phrase gained currency in the second half of the 19th century. Only the ‘interrupt, butt in’ meaning is uncommon today.

go Dutch To have each person pay his own way, to share or split the cost; to go fifty-fifty or halves. Although the exact origin of this expression is not known, it is perhaps an allusion to the qualities or independence and thrift characteristic of the Dutch people. The phrase to go Dutch probably arose from the earlier combinations of Dutch lunch, party, or supper, events or meals to which each person contributed his share, similar to today’s potluck suppers or B.Y.O.B. parties where the guests furnish the food and drink. The oldest related “Dutch” combination is apparently Dutch treat, which dates from about 1887, and is closest in meaning to to go Dutch.

To suggest a free trade area to any of them in such circumstances looks rather like proposing to a tee-totaller that you and he go dutch on daily rounds of drinks. (The Economist, October 1957)

The expression dates from the early part of the 20th century.

in cahoots See CONSPIRACY.

in there pitching See EXERTION.

keep one’s end up To do one’s fair share, do one’s part; to hold one’s own; to share the responsibilities involved in an undertaking. In print since the mid-19th century, this expression probably derives from the image of two people balancing a heavy load. It is widely heard today.

Colonel Baden-Powell and his gallant garrison will have to keep their end up unassisted. (Westminster Gazette, November 24, 1899)

kick in To contribute, to put in, to donate or give, to pay one’s share; usually in reference to money. This American slang expression probably derives from the poker slang meaning of to kick ‘to raise or up an already existing bet.’

The lawyer guy kicked in with the balance of the ten thousand. (K. McGaffey, Sorrows of Show-Girl, 1908)

pick up the slack To compensate, offset or counterbalance. The expression usually indicates that a person or group must put forth extra effort to make up for another’s absence, weakness, or low output.

play ball To work together toward a common goal; to cooperate; to act justly and honestly. This expression is perhaps derived from the set of rules agreed upon by youngsters before they play a game together or from the necessity of team effort and cooperation in athletic contests. The expression is heard throughout the English-speaking world.

The police of Buffalo are too dumb—it would be redundant, I suppose, to say “and honest”—to play ball with the hold-up mobs. (C. Terrett, Only Saps Work, 1930)

pull one’s weight To do one’s rightful share of the work; to effectively perform one’s job. This expression apparently originated from rowing, where an oarsman who does not apply all his strength to each stroke is considered a burden rather than an asset. Similarly, one who figuratively pulls his weight makes himself a valuable contributor to a team effort. In contemporary usage, the expression is often used in discussing the value or usefulness of an employee.

If the office boy is really pulling his weight … he is providing me with 3¾ days per week. (J. P. Benn, Confessions of a Capitalist, 1927)

Tinker to Evers to Chance John Tinker, John Evers, and Frank Chance formed the famous double play combination of the Chicago Cubs in the early part of the 20th century. The line “D.P. (double play): Tinker to Evers to Chance” appeared so often in box scores of that time that it became a permanent part of American idiom. The expression is used currently to describe any cooperative effort with the fluidity and speed of a Tinker to Evers to Chance double play.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cooperation - joint operation or actioncooperation - joint operation or action; "their cooperation with us was essential for the success of our mission"
group action - action taken by a group of people
teamwork - cooperative work done by a team (especially when it is effective); "it will take money, good planning and, above all, teamwork"
abidance, compliance, conformity, conformation - acting according to certain accepted standards; "their financial statements are in conformity with generally accepted accounting practices"
coaction, collaboration - act of working jointly; "they worked either in collaboration or independently"
collaborationism, quislingism, collaboration - act of cooperating traitorously with an enemy that is occupying your country
compromise, via media - a middle way between two extremes
concurrence, concurrency - acting together, as agents or circumstances or events
rapprochement, reconciliation - the reestablishing of cordial relations
self-sacrifice, selflessness - acting with less concern for yourself than for the success of the joint activity
allegiance, commitment, loyalty, dedication - the act of binding yourself (intellectually or emotionally) to a course of action; "his long commitment to public service"; "they felt no loyalty to a losing team"
representation - the act of representing; standing in for someone or some group and speaking with authority in their behalf
rivalry, competition, contention - the act of competing as for profit or a prize; "the teams were in fierce contention for first place"
2.cooperation - the practice of cooperating; "economic cooperation"; "they agreed on a policy of cooperation"
practice, pattern - a customary way of operation or behavior; "it is their practice to give annual raises"; "they changed their dietary pattern"


1. teamwork, concert, unity, collaboration, give-and-take, combined effort, esprit de corps, concurrence A deal with Japan could open the door to economic cooperation with East Asia.
teamwork opposition, rivalry, discord, dissension
2. help, assistance, participation, responsiveness, helpfulness The police asked for the public's cooperation in their hunt for the killer.
help opposition, hindrance
"Two heads are better than one"


1. Joint work toward a common end:
sự hợp tác


[kəʊˌɒpəˈreɪʃən] Ncooperación f, colaboración f


nKooperation f, → Zusammenarbeit f; (= help)Mitarbeit f, → Kooperation f; we produced this model in cooperation with …wir haben dieses Modell in Gemeinschaftsarbeit or Kooperation or gemeinsam mit … produziert; to increase cooperation between EC countriesum die Kooperation or Zusammenarbeit zwischen EG-Ländern zu fördern; with the cooperation of all members then …wenn alle Mitglieder mitmachen, dann


[kəʊˌɒpəˈreɪʃn] ncooperazione f, collaborazione f


تَعَاوُن spolupráce samarbejde Zusammenarbeit συνεργασία cooperación yhteistyö coopération suradnja cooperazione 協力 협동 medewerking samarbeid współpraca cooperação сотрудничество samarbete การร่วมมือกัน işbirliği sự hợp tác 合作
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