col·​lude kə-ˈlüd How to pronounce collude (audio)
colluded; colluding; colludes

intransitive verb

: to work together secretly especially in order to do something illegal or dishonest : conspire, plot
It was arithmetically possible, too, for a handful of senators … to collude with the president to approve a treaty betraying some vital interest to a foreign power.Jack N. Rakove
… the travails of the world's two biggest art-auction businesses, … rivals that now stand accused by the U.S. Justice Department of colluding to rig the auction market by fixing their sales-commission rates.Robert Hughes
… argues that while the kids are not entitled to collective representation, major universities are permitted to collude to prevent players from being paid for their work.David Sirota

Did you know?

Collude Has Latin Roots

The Latin prefix col-, meaning "together," and the verb ludere, "to play," come together to form collude. The related noun collusion has the specific meaning "secret agreement or cooperation." Despite their playful history, collude and collusion have always suggested deceit or trickery rather than good-natured fun.

Examples of collude in a Sentence

The two companies had colluded to fix prices. accused of colluding to block the sale of the vacant land
Recent Examples on the Web One idea would be to affirmatively allow bidders for sports rights to collude in order to help keep rights costs in check. Jonathan Knee,, 19 June 2024 If Pioneer sought to collude with OPEC nations to limit oil production, as the FTC alleges, that would push oil prices and oil company profits through the roof, as has been true for the last three years. Robert Weissman, The Mercury News, 15 June 2024 Indian officials also do not want China to see their border dispute through the lens of U.S.-Chinese competition; Beijing’s decision to go to war with India in 1962 was motivated by its sense that New Delhi and Washington were colluding to undermine Chinese interests in Tibet. Tanvi Madan, Foreign Affairs, 4 Oct. 2022 Kennedy’s campaign filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that CNN colluded with the Biden and Trump campaigns to prevent him from joining the debate. Mabinty Quarshie, Washington Examiner - Political News and Conservative Analysis About Congress, the President, and the Federal Government, 26 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for collude 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'collude.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin colludere, from com- + ludere to play, from ludus game — more at ludicrous

First Known Use

1525, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of collude was in 1525


Dictionary Entries Near collude

Cite this Entry

“Collude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

Legal Definition


intransitive verb
col·​lude kə-ˈlüd How to pronounce collude (audio)
colluded; colluding
: to agree or cooperate secretly for a fraudulent or otherwise illegal purpose

More from Merriam-Webster on collude

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!