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

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Collude Has Latin Roots

Our English "lude" words (allude, collude, delude, elude, and prelude) are based on the Latin verb ludere, meaning "to play." Collude dates back to 1525 and combines ludere and the prefix col-, meaning "with" or "together." The verb is younger than the related noun collusion, which appeared sometime in the 14th century with 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

The statements of the participating parties nonetheless now make clear that the Trump campaign colluded with AMI to influence the election. Alex Finley - Center For Public Integrity, Vox, "Trump got the National Enquirer to bury his secrets. Did he do the same with Putin?," 21 Dec. 2018 His openness comes despite the ongoing investigation into whether members of his campaign colluded with Russians. Z. Byron Wolf, CNN, "Trump's new world order," 11 June 2018 In the book, Mr. McCabe sheds new light on his role in the aftermath of Mr. Comey’s firing as well as his brief supervision of the FBI investigation into whether any Trump campaign officials colluded with agents of Russia. Aruna Viswanatha, WSJ, "Ex-FBI Official McCabe Says He Approved Trump Probe After James Comey Firing," 14 Feb. 2019 These charges were brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, who’s investigating whether any members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 election. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Trump cancels Putin meeting over Ukraine," 29 Nov. 2018 In the months since, the league has repeated that argument, saying there was no effort to collude against Kaepernick and that any team’s decision to keep him off the field was a decision made independently. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "Colin Kaepernick’s collusion grievance against the NFL, explained," 6 Sep. 2018 At minimum, the episode is just another example of a person working for Trump who was eager to collude with Russia. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart — Or His Handler?," 8 July 2018 Trump’s advisers believe the Cohen probe poses a greater threat than special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, the Times reports. Martin Finucane,, "Here’s your guide to the Stormy-Cohen-Trump-Hannity story," 17 Apr. 2018 Much of their private life was kept strictly secret, and the press and political institutions colluded to ensure that was the case. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "How Princess Margaret Paved the Way for the Younger Generation of Royals," 16 Feb. 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for collude

Last Updated

19 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for collude

The first known use of collude was in 1525

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More Definitions for collude



English Language Learners Definition of collude

: to work with others secretly especially in order to do something illegal or dishonest
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on collude

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with collude

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for collude

Nglish: Translation of collude for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of collude for Arabic Speakers

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something valued as if it were money

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