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 the Democratic Party was colluding with Ukraine, another so far unconfirmed allegation. NBC News, "Transcript: Rudy's Helpers," 30 Dec. 2019 People are accusing Bachelor in Paradise season 2 winners Jade Roper Tolbert and Tanner Tolbert of colluding with each other on a fantasy football contest that won Jade $1 million USD. Kaitlin Reilly,, "The Bachelor‘s Jade Roper Tolbert Faces Cheating Accusations After Winning $1 Million USD In Fantasy Football," 7 Jan. 2020 Down Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, whether anyone close to Trump colluded in it and whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey. Shannon Pettypiece,, "Trump’s Legal Team Lacks Security Clearances Needed for Mueller Negotiations," 2 May 2018 Last week, Harris County sued the three biggest insulin manufacturers and four companies, accusing the firms of colluding to set artificially high prices for the medicine and other diabetic treatments. Laura Garcia,, "FDA seeks to clear hurdles for biosimilar insulin in attempt to cut costs for diabetes patients," 28 Nov. 2019 Kaepernick accused owners across the league of colluding to prevent him from signing with an NFL team. Justin Carissimo, CBS News, "NFL invites all 32 teams to private workout for Colin Kaepernick," 12 Nov. 2019 In February, Kaepernick settled a grievance against the league that accused teams of colluding to keep him out of the N.F.L. because of his protests during the 2016 season. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, "N.F.L. Invites Teams to Watch Colin Kaepernick Work Out on Saturday," 12 Nov. 2019 His activities have nonetheless made him a target of China's communist leaders, who have used him to accuse foreign powers of colluding with anti-China separatists to foment unrest. Fox News, "Pro-democracy Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong barred from election," 29 Oct. 2019 His activities have nonetheless made him a target of China’s communist leaders, who have used him to accuse foreign powers of colluding with anti-China separatists to foment unrest., "HONG KONG— Hong Kong authorities barred high-profile pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong from an election, and the city’s leader ruled out political solutions before the end of the violent protests gripping the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.," 29 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for collude

Time Traveler

The first known use of collude was in 1525

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Last Updated

27 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Collude.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for collude


How to pronounce collude (audio)

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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Comments on collude

What made you want to look up collude? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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