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

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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 Condensation and mist collect on the fabric of your backpack as the weather changes. Matt Jancer, Wired, "20 Best Deals From Winter Clearance Sales This Week," 12 Feb. 2021 The consoles would allow operators to assist customers who dial person-to-person, credit card, collect and other long-distance calls from their home, business or coin phones. Matt Delong, Star Tribune, "TALKERS011121," 11 Jan. 2021 There are other collect-at-home kits, but this is the first authorized for sale over-the-counter at stores or online, the agency said. NBC News, "Dec. 9 Coronavirus updates: Countries across the world prepare to vaccinate millions," 10 Dec. 2020 Tony Kahan, co-owner of Chicago chain The Friendly Wash, said employees at three of its four locations that accept cash collect coins from washer and dryer machines daily. Abdel Jimenez,, "Coin circulation is improving, but Chicago stores reeling from a summer of few coins still ask customers for spare change," 30 Oct. 2020 Also, many products and services are offered free to consumers, who in a sense pay with the valuable personal data companies such as Google collect. Brent Kendall And Rob Copeland, WSJ, "Justice Department Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google," 20 Oct. 2020 Reporters wander into a diner in West Virginia, collect quotes, and report back with patronizing chagrin that the people gnawing on corned beef hash still like the president. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Bret Stephens’s Worst Column Yet?," 29 Sep. 2020 Republicans were particularly distressed with provisions of the bill that expand who is allowed collect and hand in ballots. CBS News, "Nevada passes bill to mail all voters ballots amid pandemic," 3 Aug. 2020 Khan spent four years in San Quentin housed in North Block, where 800 people share 12 collect call phones and 20 shower heads in the communal bathroom. Sarah Moon And Christina Maxouris, CNN, "California prisons replace their top medical officer amid a coronavirus outbreak," 7 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In addition to the loss of property taxes generated by the two Residence Inns when they were privately held, the city will no longer collect the transient occupancy tax assessed on every room rented. Jeff Mcdonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego pays top dollar and near-top dollar for hotels to house the homeless," 21 Feb. 2021 In the hunt for biosignatures, Perseverance will collect its first samples -- leaving tubes on the surface to be retrieved by a future mission and returned to Earth as part of the Mars Sample Return campaign. Julia Musto, Fox News, "Here's how NASA's Perseverance rover will search for life on Mars," 20 Feb. 2021 Call takers will collect contact information that can be given to a provider with extra late-day doses, with the understanding that any vaccine opportunity will almost always be very last minute. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Behind Alaska’s low ‘wasted’ vaccine numbers, a combination of diligence and last-minute random calls," 20 Feb. 2021 Wearables such as the Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy smartwatch, Fitbit and other devices can collect heart and oxygen data, as well as sleep and activity levels. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "COVID-19 detection: Could your Apple Watch or Fitbit help slow the coronavirus pandemic?," 19 Feb. 2021 Perseverance will also collect samples of Martian rocks and sediments in tubes that will be stored for future missions. NBC News, "NASA's Mars rover successfully touches down on the red planet," 19 Feb. 2021 Billions of years ago, the Jezero Crater was home to a large lake, and Percy will collect samples that will be the first to make the trek back to Earth for scientists to examine. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "NASA reveals first two photos of Mars taken by the Perseverance rover," 19 Feb. 2021 The rover will also collect and store geological samples for a future mission to retrieve, and try producing oxygen from the planet’s plentiful carbon dioxide, in anticipation of future human astronauts’ needs. Sarah Scoles, Wired, "NASA Lands the Perseverance Rover on Mars," 18 Feb. 2021 In the process, pharmacy benefit managers collect rebates from drug makers, a controversial tactic because the deals are blamed for rising drug prices, but the amounts are kept confidential. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Once again, senators want GAO to probe the role of PBMs in prescription drug pricing," 17 Feb. 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, 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


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

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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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Statistics for collect

Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Collect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for collect



English Language Learners Definition of collect

 (Entry 1 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 2 of 2)

US, of a telephone call : 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

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