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
IIoT collects and disseminates data, making sure the right people have the right data at the right time. John Clemons, Forbes, 23 Mar. 2023 Now the Pac-12 is asking the court to help the league collect. USA TODAY, 13 Feb. 2024 This 21-disc set collects and reissues that ambitious and short-lived series (apart from three Karlheinz Stockhausen releases, withheld at the request of the composer’s estate), and in the process resuscitates its experimental intrigue. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 15 Dec. 2023 Low spots where rainwater collects are also opportunities for swales. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Dec. 2023 The amount and type of data your car collects depends on the make, model and features of your vehicle. Kurt Knutsson, Fox News, 18 Nov. 2023 Deputy Superintendent Julie Williams presented the proposal to board members and noted that the information MGT collects will be sociodemographic and perceptual. Al Gaspeny, Arkansas Online, 28 July 2023 The air filters can be easily washed when dust or debris collects, helping to improve air quality. Amber Nolan, Treehugger, 13 July 2023 The basin where the rain and meltwater collect was formerly covered by Suicide Glacier, which used to contribute ice to the Mendenhall Glacier. Becky Bohrer, Fortune, 9 Aug. 2023
Verb
In 2023 alone, the federal government collected $2.18 trillion in personal income taxes, the study found. The Arizona Republic, 15 Apr. 2024 McMillan collected 164 catches for 2,143 yards and 17 touchdowns during his four seasons with the Huskies. Mike Kaye, Charlotte Observer, 15 Apr. 2024 In Iowa, presidential candidates typically get onto the ballot by collecting 3,500 signatures, including at least 100 signatures in each of 19 counties. Brianne Pfannenstiel, USA TODAY, 14 Apr. 2024 Gushchin, the Sharks’ third-round draft pick in 2020, had one other stint with the Sharks this season and collected an assist in two November games. Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News, 14 Apr. 2024 The American Privacy Rights Act would limit the data that companies can collect and give US residents greater control over the personal information that is collected about them. Andy Greenberg Andrew Couts, WIRED, 13 Apr. 2024 At least 70% of digital advertising revenue has been collected by Google and Meta, according to Insider Intelligence. Bobby Allyn, NPR, 12 Apr. 2024 Heavy rains caused flooding NWS is still collecting rainfall data for the area, but in past 24 hours just under a quarter inch fell in Indianapolis. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 3 Apr. 2024 The Rhode Island Department of Education collects annual data on school discipline from districts, but special education and discipline reform advocates in the state say that the agency rarely acts on these numbers. Sarah Butrymowicz, USA TODAY, 3 Apr. 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

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 21 Apr. 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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