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Borrowing from French coterie, from French cote, from Middle Dutch kot.



coterie (plural coteries)

  1. A circle of people who associate with one another.
    The new junior employee joined our merry after-hours coterie.
  2. An exclusive group of people, who associate closely for a common purpose; a clique.
    A tightly-knit coterie of executive powerbrokers made all the real decisions in the company.
    • 2016 March 3, David Thomson, “Biggest lesson of the 2016 Oscars? The Academy should be scrapped”, in The Guardian[1]:
      So the thought of closing the Academy is not based in malice; the action might prove enlightening and refreshing. The old club coterie has very little excuse, and its loss would leave few casualties.
  3. A communal burrow of prairie dogs.
    The coterie was located in the middle of our wheat field.
    • 2000, Edward O. Wilson, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, page 473:
      The population of each coterie constantly changes over a period of a few months or years, by death, birth, and emigration. But the coterie boundary remains about the same, being learned by each prairie dog born into it.
    • 2001, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, The Emperor's Embrace: The Evolution of Fatherhood:
      The odd part of prairie dog life is that this friendly state exists only among the members of each coterie, and does not extend between coteries.
    • 2009, Miriam Aronin, The Prairie Dog's Town: A Perfect Hideaway, page 22:
      The Town Grows Young prairie dogs in a coterie are brothers and sisters. They have the same father and sometimes the same mother. To find a mate from a different family, young prairie dogs must travel to a new area.