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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Most apps on your phone collect info to learn more about you. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, 11 Aug. 2022 Our blood helps nourish developing eggs, and our objects and architecture collect standing water, giving the insects a perfect spot in which to breed their young. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 18 Aug. 2022 Beginning in June, biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game collect otoliths from fish caught in both the Gulf of Alaska and the Copper River. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, 30 July 2022 After a seller accepts a buyer’s offer, attorneys (known as solicitors) on either side collect documents including proof of funds and conduct a range of property searches. Michael Kaminer, New York Times, 3 Aug. 2022 Divots in the dome’s surface collect rainwater to create vernal pools, which are home to fairy shrimp, tiny translucent freshwater crustaceans. Outside Online, 17 June 2021 Help park staff collect litter in and around Big Bone Creek or help Sierra Club with trail maintenance. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, 20 Apr. 2022 This act lets the FDA collect fees from companies that produce certain drugs and biological products for humans. Sneha Dave, STAT, 20 Mar. 2022 So what has this campaign done over the past seven months besides collect signatures? Jena Mcgregor, Forbes, 7 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program was unable to collect data for months, Luft said, because the water is so low boats can’t launch out of the state’s marinas. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 23 Sep. 2022 Last year, Apple changed the rules for iOS app developers by forcing them to ask a user's permission before their apps are allowed to collect tracking data. Matthew Humphries, PCMAG, 22 Sep. 2022 Two decades later, when Peleg and her postdoc, the physicist Raphaël Sarfati, set out to collect firefly data, better technology was available. Joshua Sokol, Quanta Magazine, 20 Sep. 2022 The law is intended to collect data on the scope of prison deaths in an effort to curb them. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 20 Sep. 2022 If an individual household doesn’t respond, the bureau tries other methods to collect the data, including as a first try sending a census worker to knock on individual doors, multiple times if needed. Danny Mcdonald,, 13 Sep. 2022 Stein said Eve has been flying helicopters with a pod of sensors since May to collect data so the vehicles can learn how to fly in an urban environment. Bill Jones, Chicago Tribune, 9 Sep. 2022 Oregon doesn’t appear to collect comprehensive data on the value of all enterprise zone tax breaks statewide. oregonlive, 8 Sep. 2022 In 2003, two robotic rovers were sent to Mars on separate missions to collect data about the Red Planet’s topography and, hopefully, its history with water. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Sep. 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 See More

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.

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

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

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Last Updated

4 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Collect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for collect


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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