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

Definition of collude

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

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 But some experts worry that, without careful checks, these programs might inadvertently learn to discriminate against minority groups and possibly collude to artificially inflate prices. Ethan Wilk, Scientific American, 26 Apr. 2022 Watson escaped criminal charges last week, but 22 women didn’t collude and come up with the same story. Marla Ridenour, USA TODAY, 15 Mar. 2022 What Mueller found was that there wasn’t an express agreement between Trump’s campaign and the Russians to collude in hopes of getting Trump elected. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 7 Mar. 2022 The case adds to a growing body of evidence that spyware has been used widely in Mexico to undercut political opponents, human rights activists and journalists, as well as monitor the loyalty of certain allies and even collude with drug cartels. San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Feb. 2022 After the 1981 strike, which cost 713 games, and a brief strike in 1985, owners illegally conspired to collude against free agents. New York Times, 7 Feb. 2022 Those seeking to deny those rights to others, let alone to collude with foreign governments in repressing them, will need to pursue their education elsewhere. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 29 Dec. 2021 The Mueller report said there wasn't evidence of a criminal conspiracy to collude. Marshall Cohen, CNN, 18 Nov. 2021 The news now is that cartel members don’t seem that eager to collude with him. James Freeman, WSJ, 1 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'collude.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of collude

1525, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for collude

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

Learn More About collude

Time Traveler for collude

Time Traveler

The first known use of collude was in 1525

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About collude

Dictionary Entries Near collude




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for collude

Last Updated

5 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Collude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for collude


intransitive verb
col·​lude | \ kə-ˈlüd How to pronounce collude (audio) \
colluded; colluding

Legal Definition of collude

: to agree or cooperate secretly for a fraudulent or otherwise illegal purpose

More from Merriam-Webster on collude

Nglish: Translation of collude for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of collude for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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