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 And Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya colluded with the dossier’s key architect, Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson. Aaron Rupar, Vox, "Devin Nunes’s behavior during the Mueller hearing was bizarre — unless you watch Fox News," 24 July 2019 The report didn’t establish that the Trump campaign colluded with Russians, and didn’t determine whether Mr. Trump had engaged in obstruction of justice. Sadie Gurman, WSJ, "Robert Mueller to Testify in Open Session Before House Committees," 26 June 2019 Chinese propaganda outlets accuse opponents of the bill of colluding with hostile foreign forces. Keith Bradsher, New York Times, "In Battle for Hong Kong, the Field Has Tilted Toward Beijing," 12 June 2019 In February, Kaepernick and former teammate, Eric Reid, settled a lawsuit alleging that the NFL had colluded to keep him off the field for their political activism. Alaa Abdeldaiem,, "Colin Kaepernick's Nike Ad Wins 2019 Emmy for Outstanding Commercial," 16 Sep. 2019 President Trump has repeatedly insisted that his campaign did not collude with Russian efforts to interfere in the election, including through the hacking and distribution of Democratic emails. Anchorage Daily News, "Thousands of pages of congressional testimony shed light on 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians," 16 May 2018 Rogers has repeatedly argued (or, to put it more accurately, asserted) that Trump has not colluded with the Russian government. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Before It Stopped Cooperating With Mueller, Ukraine Hired GOP Lobbyists. Hmm.," 3 May 2018 Since the August incident, protesters have targeted more MTR stations, smashing glass panels and spraying graffiti messages that accuse the corporation of colluding with the Chinese government. Washington Post, "Under Hong Kong’s streets, the subway becomes a battleground for protesters and police," 12 Sep. 2019 Matteo Salvini has closed his country’s ports to humanitarian boats and has accused them of colluding with human traffickers. Colleen Barry,, "EU to move evacuated migrants from Italy; 350 still at sea," 21 Aug. 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

3 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for collude

The first known use of collude was in 1525

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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).


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

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