col·lab·o·rate | \kə-ˈla-bə-ˌrāt \
collaborated; collaborating

Definition of collaborate 

intransitive verb

1 : to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor An international team of scientists collaborated on the study.

2 : to cooperate with or willingly assist an enemy of one's country and especially an occupying force suspected of collaborating with the enemy

3 : to cooperate with an agency or instrumentality with which one is not immediately connected The two schools collaborate on library services.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from collaborate

collaboration \kə-ˌla-bə-ˈrā-shən \ noun
collaborative \kə-ˈla-bə-ˌrā-tiv, -b(ə-)rə- \ adjective or noun
collaboratively \kə-ˈla-bə-ˌrā-tiv-lē, -b(ə-)rə- \ adverb
collaborator \kə-ˈla-bə-ˌrā-tər \ noun

Did You Know?

The Latin prefix com-, meaning "with, together, or jointly," is a bit of a chameleon - it has a tricky habit of changing its appearance depending on what it's next to. If the word it precedes begins with "l," "com-" becomes "col-." In the case of collaborate, com- teamed up with laborare ("to labor") to form Late Latin collaborare ("to labor together"). Colleague, collect, and collide are a few more examples of the "com-" to "col-" transformation. Other descendants of laborare in English include elaborate,- _laboratory, and labor itself.

Examples of collaborate in a Sentence

The two companies agreed to collaborate. He was suspected of collaborating with the occupying army.

Recent Examples on the Web

Goldblatt worked with a young New York Times correspondent, Joseph Lelyveld, who was deported in 1966, after the two collaborated on a photo essay about Coloured (mixed-race) people. The Economist, "David Goldblatt died on June 25th," 28 June 2018 GitHub—a website that has become popular with scientists collaborating on research data and software—is to be acquired by Microsoft for US$7.5 billion. Andrew Silver, Scientific American, "Microsoft’s Purchase of GitHub Leaves Some Scientists Uneasy," 15 June 2018 Argento and Bourdain met when the two collaborated on the Rome episode of Parts Unknown in 2016 and began dating a year later. Dave Quinn,, "Asia Argento speaks out following boyfriend Anthony Bourdain's death: 'He was my love, my rock'," 8 June 2018 This time around, the company collaborated with CNN to bring you a premium box designed especially for CNN Underscored readers. Anna Hecht, CNN Underscored, "This CNN-exclusive subscription box is the Father's Day gift we all want," 30 May 2018 Because two users can log in at once, the Surface Hub 2 will allow two users to collaborate on a project. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Surface Hub 2 is a Teams-powered giant tablet that creates its own video wall," 15 May 2018 This also allows them to collaborate on consumer-focused initiatives that patients specifically request, not just the ones the government will subsidize. Rita E. Numerof, STAT, "Microhospitals and healthplexes offer a peek at the future of health care," 10 Apr. 2018 In those early days, the big cellular operators didn’t have much interest in collaborating with tiny startups like SimpliSafe, Laurans recalls. Scott Kirsner,, "Why one Boston home security startup caught on and another didn’t," 12 July 2018 The experience of collaborating with Takada was life-changing for Lafawndah. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Two Generations of Experimental Musical Artists Join Forces for a Dreamy New Kenzo Video," 12 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of collaborate

1871, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for collaborate

Late Latin collaboratus, past participle of collaborare to labor together, from Latin com- + laborare to labor — more at labor

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about collaborate

Share collaborate

Listen to Our Podcast about collaborate

Statistics for collaborate

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for collaborate

The first known use of collaborate was in 1871

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for collaborate



English Language Learners Definition of collaborate

: to work with another person or group in order to achieve or do something

: to give help to an enemy who has invaded your country during a war


col·lab·o·rate | \kə-ˈla-bə-ˌrāt \
collaborated; collaborating

Kids Definition of collaborate

1 : to work with others (as in writing a book)

2 : to cooperate with an enemy force that has taken over a person's country


intransitive verb
col·lab·o·rate | \kə-ˈla-bə-ˌrāt \
collaborated; collaborating

Legal Definition of collaborate 

: to work jointly with others in some endeavor

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on collaborate

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


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!