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

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
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
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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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 Her phone bill was ridiculous from all my collect calls. Brianne Tracy,, "Gucci Mane Gets Backlash for Praising Wife for Staying with Him While He Cheated, Was on Drugs," 16 Oct. 2019 The court had granted Waring two hours of unrecorded collect calls and one 20-minute non-collect call per day in preparation for his court dates, as is standard when a defendant forgos outside counsel. Daily Pilot, "Appeal to have charges dismissed fails for son of ex-'Real Housewives’ star; he is attacked in jail," 11 Oct. 2019 No matter—to him, that’s what collect calls were for. Mike Kerrigan, WSJ, "My Brother the Car Horn," 27 Nov. 2018 The standard cost of a call is $0.25 per minute if prepaid or $0.35 per minute for collect calls. Don Behm, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee County inmates offered a free 5-minute phone call home on Mother's Day," 12 May 2018 Forget the collect-a-thon bloat of series like Donkey Kong Country and Banjo-Kazooie. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Celeste review: With amazing twists, this 2D game reaches great heights," 25 Jan. 2018 Her phone bill was ridiculous from all my collect calls. Sam Gillette,, "Gucci Mane on His Troubled Relationship with Keyshia Ka’oir Before Their Romantic Wedding," 19 Oct. 2017 Last year, an inmate and his mom sued the county, claiming its jailhouse phone rates were still too high at $4 flat for local collect calls and 50 cents per minute for local calls charged on a debit card. Jordan Graham, Orange County Register, "Orange County ends jail contract amid accusations of overcharging inmates’ families to send money," 15 Mar. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Williams added a second in the 68th minute, collecting a header from North Carolina Courage teammate Jessica McDonald in the box for a clean finish for the team’s fifth goal. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "USWNT closes out 2019 campaign with 6-0 rout of Costa Rica," 12 Nov. 2019 Specifically, the company has pledged to stop going after exempt income, to obtain documentation that debts are valid before attempting to collect them, and refrain from calling customers more than twice in a seven-day period., "AG’s office recovers $4 million from debt collector - The Boston Globe," 11 Nov. 2019 Okogie collected it in the corner and heaved it up as time expired, only to have his shot clank off the iron. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "NBA says Timberwolves should have had potential game-winning free throws at end of loss to Denver," 11 Nov. 2019 But after outraged DJs collected 27,000 signatures on a petition to bring the 1200 back, Panasonic relented, resurfacing the 1200 in 2016 and releasing another update in 2019, the MK7. Jim Allen, Popular Mechanics, "This Technics Turntable Powered Hip-Hop’s Early Sound," 9 Nov. 2019 The tests will serve as practice for studying future samples collected on Artemis missions — NASA's plan to land the first woman and next man on the moon by 2024. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, ""We're touching history": NASA opens untouched Apollo moon rock sample sealed for more than 40 years," 7 Nov. 2019 As for modernizing the grid, Olson believes those costs were handled by a 2016 add-on that let Duke collect $1.4 billion over several years. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "State agency: Deny Duke's $400 million rate increase and cut current rates by $130 million," 7 Nov. 2019 Scientists catching fish for studies at the Great Barrier Reef are legally required to record their catches, and Lönnstedt reported collecting only 12 zebra lionfish and three spotfin lionfish. Martin Enserink, Science | AAAS, "Journal stands by paper facing misconduct allegations, but expresses concern about related images," 6 Nov. 2019 Little beads of condensation collected on reusable water bottles. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "The World According to Greta," 22 Oct. 2019

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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Learn More about collect

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

15 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Collect.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for collect


How to pronounce collect (audio)

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


How to pronounce collect (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on collect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for collect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with collect

Spanish Central: Translation of collect

Nglish: Translation of collect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of collect for Arabic Speakers

Comments on collect

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not agreeing with established beliefs

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