com·​plic·​i·​ty | \ kəm-ˈpli-s(ə-)tē How to pronounce complicity (audio) \
plural complicities

Definition of complicity

1 : association or participation in or as if in a wrongful act arrested for complicity in the crime
2 : an instance of complicity The two share a complicity she calls fraternal.— Joan Dupont

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Synonyms for complicity


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Examples of complicity in a Sentence

There's no proof of her complicity in the murder. He acted with his brother's complicity.
Recent Examples on the Web But that has to change because our silence is complicity. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "Biden offers empathy and anger for grieving Asian Americans in Atlanta," 19 Mar. 2021 And to those with the power to help and yet sit idly by, your silence is complicity. Jenna Ryu, USA TODAY, "Caricature depicting BTS with bruised faces criticized amid rise in anti-Asian violence, brand apologizes," 17 Mar. 2021 The disappointment comes from the awareness that support for someone’s work is also in some ways complicity in their actions. Angela Watercutter, Wired, "The Crushing Disappointment of Fandom," 12 Feb. 2021 Tell me about the complicity developed gradually between artist/designer/architect and craftsman. Y-jean Mun-delsalle, Forbes, "Stanislas Colodiet Explains Why The CIRVA Marseille Is A Glassworks Unlike Anywhere Else In The World," 9 Apr. 2021 The actual history of the Trump era is all about Republican complicity. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "The Media Is Falling for Republicans’ New Anti-Trump Narrative," 20 Oct. 2020 Public disclosures also encourage people to think about complicity. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, "Four years later, women are still accusing Trump of sexual assault. Here's why that matters.," 28 Aug. 2020 She was indicted on five counts of complicity for fleeing and evading. Joanna Bouras, The Enquirer, "Driver pleads guilty to gun charges in connection with NKY police chase that killed two," 5 Apr. 2021 Franklin was wanted on a charge of complicity to commit murder. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Suspect in New Philadelphia fatal shooting arrested in Warrensville Heights," 18 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'complicity.' 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 complicity

circa 1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for complicity

see complice

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Time Traveler for complicity

Time Traveler

The first known use of complicity was circa 1656

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Statistics for complicity

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Complicity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for complicity



English Language Learners Definition of complicity

formal : the act of helping to commit a crime or do wrong in some way

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