collect

1 of 3

noun

col·​lect ˈkä-likt How to pronounce collect (audio)
 also  -ˌlekt
1
: a short prayer comprising an invocation, petition, and conclusion
specifically, often capitalized : one preceding the eucharistic Epistle and varying with the day
2

collect

2 of 3

verb

col·​lect kə-ˈlekt How to pronounce collect (audio)
collected; collecting; collects

transitive verb

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
2
3
: to gain or regain control of
collect his thoughts
4
: to claim as due and receive payment for
5
: to get and bring with one
specifically : pick up
went to collect her at the train station

intransitive verb

1
: to come together in a band, group, or mass : gather
2
a
: to collect objects
b
: to receive payment
collecting on the insurance

collect

3 of 3

adverb or adjective

col·​lect kə-ˈlekt How to pronounce collect (audio)
: to be paid for by the receiver
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of collect in a Sentence

Verb They hope to collect over 1,000 signatures on the petition. He collected stories from all over the world. They collected information about the community. We collected soil samples from several areas on the site. We collected our baggage from the baggage claim at the airport. I left my suit at the cleaners and I have to collect it today. She enjoys collecting antique teapots. He has an impressive stamp collection, though he has been collecting for only a few years. I took a minute to collect my thoughts.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
This visceral fat collects between abdominal organs such as the spleen, stomach, and liver, and can predispose you to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Laurie Saloman, Verywell Health, 3 July 2024 President Joe Biden last week signed legislation barring Chinese parent ByteDance Ltd’s ownership of TikTok, a move aimed at preventing Beijing from accessing troves of data that the video sharing app collects from its 170 million American users. Bloomberg News, Hartford Courant, 30 Apr. 2024
Verb
Shown here are microbubbles of oxygen from a sample collected in 2021 near the seafloor, 4,000 meters below the surface of the Pacific Ocean in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone. Katie Hunt, CNN, 22 July 2024 On the 29 days the fee was collected, visitors had to register online to receive a QR code that was required for access to the city. Daniel Cassady, ARTnews.com, 22 July 2024
Adverb or adjective
The octogenarian monetarist, who knew the value a dollar from all angles, would phone back collect. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 6 Oct. 2021 See all Example Sentences for collect 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'collect.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English collecte, collet, borrowed from Anglo-French collecte, borrowed from Medieval Latin collēcta, perhaps going back to Late Latin, in sense "gathering place, assembly" (assuming the original reference was to ōrātiō ad collēctam, a prayer recited at the congregation's gathering place), going back to Latin, feminine of collēctus, past participle of colligere "to gather together, assemble, accumulate" — more at collect entry 2

Verb

Middle English collecten "to accumulate, infer, calculate," borrowed from Anglo-French collecter, borrowed from Latin collēctus, past participle of colligere "to gather together, assemble, accumulate, pull (oneself) together," from col-, assimilated variant of com- com- + legere "to gather by picking or plucking, select, choose" — more at legend

Adverb or adjective

derivative of collect entry 2

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1563, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Adverb Or Adjective

1893, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of collect was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near collect

Cite this Entry

“Collect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/collect. Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

collect

1 of 3 noun
col·​lect ˈkäl-ikt How to pronounce collect (audio)
 also  -ˌekt
: an opening prayer in the Communion service or the Mass

collect

2 of 3 verb
col·​lect kə-ˈlekt How to pronounce collect (audio)
1
a
: to bring or come together into one body or place
b
: to gather from a number of sources
collect stamps
2
: to gain or regain control of
collecting my thoughts
3
: to demand and take payment for
collect a bill
4
: to form in a heap or mass : accumulate
junk collecting in the attic
collectible adjective
or collectable
kə-ˈlek-tə-bəl

collect

3 of 3 adverb or adjective
col·​lect kə-ˈlekt How to pronounce collect (audio)
: to be paid for by the receiver
a collect phone call
call collect
Etymology

Noun

Middle English collecte "prayer," from early French collecte (same meaning), from Latin collecta "prayer, collect," shortened form of oratio ad collectam "prayer upon assembly," derived from earlier collectus "collected," derived from colligere "to gather together," from col-, com- "together" and legere "to gather" — related to legend

Verb

from Latin collectus "collected," from colligere "to gather together," from col-, com- "together" and legere "to gather" — related to legend

More from Merriam-Webster on collect

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