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 That is direct evidence of certainly an intent to collude with the Russians. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Adam Schiff clings to 'more than circumstantial' evidence of Trump-Russia collusion," 5 Feb. 2021 Put another way, the U.S. mining ventures will help ensure that no consortium of miners can collude to manipulate the blockchain network. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "The American heartland needs jobs. Could Bitcoin mining become its next savior?," 12 Dec. 2020 Just as Federal and Mossberg would later collude on the 3½-inch 12-gauge—and a gun (the 835 pump) to shoot it—Winchester developed the 3½-inch 10-gauge cartridge in 1932 while Ithaca made the first 10-gauge magnums to shoot them. Phil Bourjaily, Field & Stream, "The Best New and Used Break-Action Waterfowl Shotguns," 2 Dec. 2020 As states compete and collude with gargantuan new private powers, a new political world arises. Rana Dasgupta, Harper's Magazine, "The Silenced Majority," 24 Nov. 2020 Payson • Ryan Rowley’s orchards occupy a special piece of Utah where elevation, soils and topography collude to create an ideal environment for growing fruit, especially the tart cherries that have long been associated with the family name. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Can gravel mining and world-class cherry orchards coexist in Utah?," 4 Oct. 2020 The second condition is a different local actor in that country agrees to collude with the intervener in such meddling. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "The U.S. is the biggest election meddler of them all, new book claims," 4 Sep. 2020 After a lengthy investigation, Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrote a two-volume report that described Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to benefit Trump but concluded that Trump’s campaign didn’t collude with Russia. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland, "Sen. Sherrod Brown seeks Treasury Department sanctions against Russia for trying undermine Joe Biden in 2020 election," 3 Sep. 2020 If Palme was intending to expose details from Iran-Contra in the later half of 1985, then suspicion for colluding in his assassination would logically fall on the CIA, as well as South Africa. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Who Killed Olof Palme?," 10 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for collude

Time Traveler

The first known use of collude was in 1525

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Statistics for collude

Last Updated

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Collude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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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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