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noun col·lect \ˈkä-likt also -ˌlekt\

Definition of collect

  1. 1 :  a short prayer comprising an invocation, petition, and conclusion; specifically often capitalized :  one preceding the eucharistic Epistle and varying with the day

  2. 2 :  collection

Origin and Etymology of collect

Middle English collecte, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin collecta (short for oratio ad collectam prayer upon assembly), from Late Latin, assembly, from Latin, assemblage, from feminine of collectus

First Known Use: 13th century



verb col·lect \kə-ˈlekt\

Simple Definition of collect

  • : to get (things) from different places and bring them together

  • : to get (one or more things) from a place

  • : to get (similar things) and bring them together as a hobby

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of collect

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to bring together into one body or place b :  to gather or exact from a number of persons or sources <collect taxes> c :  to gather an accumulation of (objects) especially as a hobby <collects stamps>

  3. 2 :  infer, deduce

  4. 3 :  to gain or regain control of <collect his thoughts>

  5. 4 :  to claim as due and receive payment for

  6. 5 :  to get and bring with one; specifically :  pick up <went to collect her at the train station>

  7. intransitive verb
  8. 1 :  to come together in a band, group, or mass :  gather

  9. 2 a :  to collect objects b :  to receive payment <collecting on the insurance>

Examples of collect in a sentence

  1. They hope to collect over 1,000 signatures on the petition.

  2. He collected stories from all over the world.

  3. They collected information about the community.

  4. We collected soil samples from several areas on the site.

  5. We collected our baggage from the baggage claim at the airport.

  6. I left my suit at the cleaners and I have to collect it today.

  7. She enjoys collecting antique teapots.

  8. He has an impressive stamp collection, though he has been collecting for only a few years.

  9. I took a minute to collect my thoughts.

Origin and Etymology of collect

Latin collectus, past participle of colligere to collect, from com- + legere to gather — more at legend

First Known Use: 1563

Synonym Discussion of collect

gather, collect, assemble, congregate mean to come or bring together into a group, mass, or unit. gather is the most general term for bringing or coming together from a spread-out or scattered state <a crowd quickly gathered>. collect often implies careful selection or orderly arrangement <collected books on gardening>. assemble implies an ordered union or organization of persons or things often for a definite purpose <experts assembled for a conference>. congregate implies a spontaneous flocking together into a crowd or huddle <congregating under a shelter>.



adverb or adjective col·lect \kə-ˈlekt\

Simple Definition of collect

  • of a telephone call : paid for by the person who is receiving the call

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of collect

  1. :  to be paid for by the receiver


First Known Use of collect


COLLECT Defined for Kids


verb col·lect \kə-ˈlekt\

Definition of collect for Students



  1. 1 :  to gather from a number of sources <collect stamps> <She collected stories from all over the world.>

  2. 2 :  to receive payment for <Our landlord is here to collect the rent money.>

  3. 3 :  to bring or come together into one body or place <Our teacher collected our homework papers.>

  4. 4 :  to gain or regain control of <After losing my way, I had to stop and collect my thoughts.>

  5. 5 :  to increase in amount <Dust collected on the furniture.>

  6. 6 :  to get and bring <He collected his easel … and set it up … — Richard Peck, A Year Down Yonder>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up collect? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to permeate or influence as if by dyeing

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