(noun) The act of two people living together and sharing an intimate relationship, typically in reference to unmarried couples.

Example: Two single people meet at a university and live together to save on expenses and have a sexual relationship.

Audio Pronunciation: (co·hab·i·ta·tion)

Download Audio Pronunciation: cohabitation.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • Plural: cohabitations
  • Cohabitation refers to a couple living at the same physical location and not to a couple that spends the majority of their time at one residence but maintaining two separate residences.
  • In some locations, the length of cohabitation leads to a common-law marriage.
  • Cohabitation has become a precursor to marriage and an alternative to marriage in some societies.
  • Cohabitation is the only option for same-sex couples where same-sex marriage is illegal.
  • Type: common-law marriage
  • Variant form: co-habitation
  • Also called:
    • consensual union
    • de facto marriage
  • Informally called:
    • living as married
    • living in sin
    • playing house
    • shacking up
  • Cohabitation used in a sentence: Kelley and Joey practice cohabitation because they live together but are not married.
  • A (noun) cohabitant or (noun) cohabiter (verb) cohabit with each other in a (adjective) cohabitational relationship.

Additional Information:

Related Terms: