conspiracy

noun
con·​spir·​a·​cy | \ kən-ˈspir-ə-sē How to pronounce conspiracy (audio) \
plural conspiracies

Definition of conspiracy

1 : the act of conspiring together They were accused of conspiracy to commit murder.
2a : an agreement among conspirators uncovered a conspiracy against the government
b : a group of conspirators a conspiracy made up of disgruntled aristocrats

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Synonyms for conspiracy

Synonyms

cabal, crew, gang, Mafia, mob, ring, syndicate

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Choose the Right Synonym for conspiracy

plot, intrigue, machination, conspiracy, cabal mean a plan secretly devised to accomplish an evil or treacherous end. plot implies careful foresight in planning a complex scheme. an assassination plot intrigue suggests secret underhanded maneuvering in an atmosphere of duplicity. backstairs intrigue machination implies a contriving of annoyances, injuries, or evils by indirect means. the machinations of a party boss conspiracy implies a secret agreement among several people usually involving treason or great treachery. a conspiracy to fix prices cabal typically applies to political intrigue involving persons of some eminence. a cabal among powerful senators

Examples of conspiracy in a Sentence

The CIA uncovered a conspiracy against the government. They were accused of conspiracy to commit murder.

Recent Examples on the Web

Birther conspiracy theorists have also circulated material challenging Harris’ eligibility to run for president. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Attacks on Harris were percolating before Trump Jr. picked them up," 1 July 2019 The woman was also banned from visiting websites run by conspiracy theorists, including Fetzer. Lawrence Andrea, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Father of Sandy Hook victim finds vindication in ruling against Dane County hoaxer," 21 June 2019 She was also banned from visiting web sites run by conspiracy theorists, including Fetzer. CBS News, ""Nobody Died at Sandy Hook" publisher apologizes to dad of murdered boy," 18 June 2019 She was also banned from visiting web sites run by conspiracy theorists, including Fetzer. Pat Eaton-robb, Anchorage Daily News, "Sandy Hook parents win a round in fight against hoaxers," 18 June 2019 She was also banned from visiting web sites run by conspiracy theorists, including Fetzer. Time, "Father of Sandy Hook Massacre Victim Wins Defamation Lawsuit Against Shooting Deniers," 18 June 2019 She was also banned from visiting web sites run by conspiracy theorists, including Fetzer. Pat Eaton-robb, BostonGlobe.com, "Newtown parents score a win in growing fight against hoaxers," 18 June 2019 She was also banned from visiting web sites run by conspiracy theorists, including Fetzer. NBC News, "Newtown parents score a win in growing fight against hoaxers," 18 June 2019 It’s taken action against groups like far-right figure Gavin McInnes’ Proud Boys and individuals like conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for violations of those policies. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Hundreds of active and former police officers are part of extremist Facebook groups," 14 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conspiracy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of conspiracy

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for conspiracy

Middle English conspiracie, from Latin conspirare — see conspire

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Statistics for conspiracy

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conspiracy

The first known use of conspiracy was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for conspiracy

conspiracy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of conspiracy

: a secret plan made by two or more people to do something that is harmful or illegal
: the act of secretly planning to do something that is harmful or illegal

conspiracy

noun
con·​spir·​a·​cy | \ kən-ˈspir-ə-sē How to pronounce conspiracy (audio) \
plural conspiracies

Kids Definition of conspiracy

1 : a secret agreement to do something harmful or unlawful
2 : the act of plotting with others to do something harmful or unlawful
3 : a group of conspirators

conspiracy

noun
con·​spir·​a·​cy | \ kən-ˈspir-ə-sē How to pronounce conspiracy (audio) \
plural conspiracies

Legal Definition of conspiracy

1 : an agreement between two or more people to commit an act prohibited by law or to commit a lawful act by means prohibited by law also : the crime or tort of participating in a conspiracy — compare substantive crime

Note: Some states require an overt act in addition to the agreement to constitute conspiracy.

chain conspiracy
: a conspiracy in which the conspirators act separately and successively (as in distributing narcotics)
civil conspiracy
: a conspiracy that is not prosecuted as a crime but that forms the grounds for a lawsuit
criminal conspiracy
: a conspiracy prosecuted as a crime
2 : a group of conspirators

History and Etymology for conspiracy

Latin conspiratio, from conspirare to conspire — see conspire

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Comments on conspiracy

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