‘Coworker' or 'Co-Worker': What's the Difference?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on December 29, 2022

Wondering whether to spell it ‘coworker’ or ‘co-worker’? And what is the difference? We’ll cover that in this article, plus teach you how to use the correct word in a sentence.

Don’t feel like skimming? Here’s the short answer.

‘Coworker’ and ‘co-worker’ mean the same exact thing, and they’re both widely used around the world. The only difference is the hyphen, but the words can be used interchangeably.

‘Coworker’ or ‘Co-worker’ – What’s the Difference?

As you just learned, there is no real difference between these two words. In fact, people often use them interchangeably. That’s because they mean the exact same thing. The only difference is the hyphen, which really doesn’t make much difference.

Is It ‘Coworker’ or ‘Co-Worker’?

It’s both!

There’s no real difference between the two words, so you can use whichever one you feel like using. It won’t make a difference in meaning.

Definition and Meaning of ‘Coworker’ and ‘Co-worker’

The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘coworker’ is: “one who works with another: a fellow worker.”

Synonyms of the word include:

  • Associate
  • Confrere
  • Colleague

A Brief History

The first known use of the word was around 1643, and it meant the same thing it does today.

Plural of ‘Coworker’

If you ever need to pluralize the word ‘coworker,’ you should know how to do it correctly.

The word follows the standard rules for pluralization in the English language, which state you’re supposed to add an ‘s’ or ‘es’ to the end of a word to make it plural.

Take a look at some examples:

  • Cat > Cats
  • Dog > Dogs
  • Watch > Watches
  • Catch > Catches

‘Coworker’ follows the same rules. Take a look.

  • Coworker > Coworkers

Now that you know what the words mean and how to pluralize them let’s take a look at how to use them in a sentence correctly.

How to Use ‘Coworker’ or ‘Co-Worker’ in a Sentence

Let’s see some examples of how to use ‘coworker’ in a sentence.

  • That’s my co-worker. We’ve been working together for five years.
  • I didn’t realize that lady on stage was my co-worker! She can really sing.
  • I had a co-worker who used to steal from work almost every day.
  • I lent my co-worker $100 last month, and I haven’t gotten it back yet.
  • How can you be friends with your co-workers? I can’t stand mine.
  • I love having at least one co-worker with a great sense of humor.

Now let’s see some examples of how you’d use the plural version of the word in a sentence.

  • I don’t like to go out for drinks with my co-workers. I’m just not a big drinker.
  • My co-workers are all pretty nice, with the exception of Mrs. Lansing.
  • I couldn’t ask for better co-workers. They had my back when I was out sick.
  • My co-workers had to onboard me when I started last week.
  • I only have two co-workers in my tiny office.
  • I haven’t had co-workers like you in a long time.

Final Thoughts on ‘Coworker’ and ‘Co-Worker’

To recap, we’ve learned that these two words mean the exact same thing and can be used interchangeably because there’s no real difference between them. That means you can use the above sentences as a guide to help you form your own sentences.

If you ever get stuck, you can always come back for a quick refresher. We’ve also got a whole library of content on confusing words and phrases you might come across as you’re learning the language.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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