This word was first used in popular English literature sometime before 1829. It comes perhaps from French cahute (“cabin”), from Old French, possibly blend of cabane (“cabin”), and hutte (“hut”). Also thought to be from French cohorte, or a slang form of English cohort in the meaning "accomplice."
cahoots pl (plural only)
- Collusion or collaboration to nefarious ends.
- Being frustrated or up in cahoots.
- They probably give it back to him; they're all in cahoots. — Rabbit at Rest, John Updike
- Cahoots is only used in the phrases "in cahoots" (for collusion within a group), "in cahoots with" (for collusion between two or more parties) and, more rarely, "go cahoots" (share equally in an expense or become partners) and "go in cahoots" (become partners).