col·​lect | \ ˈkä-likt How to pronounce collect (audio) also -ˌlekt \

Definition of collect

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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


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

Definition of collect (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : 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 : infer, deduce
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
2a : to collect objects
b : to receive payment collecting on the insurance


adverb or adjective
col·​lect | \ kə-ˈlekt How to pronounce collect (audio) \

Definition of collect (Entry 3 of 3)

: to be paid for by the receiver

Synonyms for collect

Synonyms: Verb

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun So what has this campaign done over the past seven months besides collect signatures? Jena Mcgregor, Forbes, 7 Oct. 2021 Asked whether the state should increase the current $4,000 filing fee or the alternate requirement that a candidate collect at least 7,000 voter signatures, only 51% of voters gave their approval. John Myers, Los Angeles Times, 13 Sep. 2021 Muskego Beer, Wine & Liquor Muskego Beer, Wine & Liquor has a wide variety of Oktoberfest collect. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8 Sep. 2021 To have Simple Recycling collect, call 855-835-5068 to schedule a pick-up day., 4 Aug. 2021 The recipient of a call from someone locked up in Metro Corrections currently must pay $1.85 for collect calls to a local landline, while intrastate and interstate calls can have additional per-minute fees. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, 25 June 2021 Not additionally charging a fee just to make the change removes some of the economic penalty, but keeping the add-collect leaves the airlines in the tough spot of essentially asking someone to fly sick. Ben Baldanza, Forbes, 21 June 2021 Greenberg, the former Seminole County tax collect, faces a slew of federal charges — 33, as the case now stands — and is slated to reach a plea agreement with prosecutors by May 15. Orlando Sentinel Podcasts,, 23 Apr. 2021 She’s been well-known among incarcerated people for years, a defense lawyer who takes on indigent clients, who answers every collect call. STAT, 14 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Indianapolis City-County Council is rescheduling the first of a series of forums that will collect public input for the council redistricting process. Amelia Pak-harvey, The Indianapolis Star, 14 Jan. 2022 Davies said the city will utilize overtime pay, combine routes and adjust the shifts of workers who collect other types of trash in the department to ensure residential trash is picked up. Wyatt Myskow, The Arizona Republic, 14 Jan. 2022 Just in case there is a shortage of zinnias again this year, collect the seeds from the largest, most attractive blooms that are in your garden now. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, 14 Jan. 2022 Health personnel arrive at patients’ homes to perform checkups, such as diabetic foot or eye exams, or collect samples for lab work. San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Jan. 2022 As the bubble expands, regions of dense, cold gas that can birth stars collect on its surface. Aylin Woodward, WSJ, 12 Jan. 2022 Seven anonymous judges not employed by the county will select the winner, who will collect a $100 Visa gift card donated by Gallaher. Washington Post, 12 Jan. 2022 Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for your Medicare number, financial information, or attempt to set up a COVID-19 test for you and collect payment information for the test. Christian Martinez, Los Angeles Times, 12 Jan. 2022 The more light the mirror can collect, the more details the telescope can observe. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 8 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: 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

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'collect.' 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 collect


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1563, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Adverb or adjective

1893, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for collect


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


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

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Time Traveler for collect

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Collect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for collect



English Language Learners Definition of collect (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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



English Language Learners Definition of collect (Entry 3 of 2)

: paid for by the person who is receiving the call


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

Kids Definition of collect

1 : to gather from a number of sources collect stamps She collected stories from all over the world.
2 : to receive payment for Our landlord is here to collect the rent money.
3 : to bring or come together into one body or place Our teacher collected our homework papers.
4 : to gain or regain control of After losing my way, I had to stop and collect my thoughts.
5 : to increase in amount Dust collected on the furniture.
6 : to get and bring He collected his easel … and set it up …— Richard Peck, A Year Down Yonder

More from Merriam-Webster on collect

Nglish: Translation of collect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of collect for Arabic Speakers


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