conspiracy

noun
con·​spir·​a·​cy | \ kən-ˈspir-ə-sē How to pronounce conspiracy (audio) \
plural conspiracies

Definition of conspiracy

1 : the act of conspiring together They were accused of conspiracy to commit murder.
2a : an agreement among conspirators uncovered a conspiracy against the government
b : a group of conspirators a conspiracy made up of disgruntled aristocrats

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Synonyms for conspiracy

Synonyms

cabal, crew, gang, Mafia, mob, ring, syndicate

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Choose the Right Synonym for conspiracy

plot, intrigue, machination, conspiracy, cabal mean a plan secretly devised to accomplish an evil or treacherous end. plot implies careful foresight in planning a complex scheme. an assassination plot intrigue suggests secret underhanded maneuvering in an atmosphere of duplicity. backstairs intrigue machination implies a contriving of annoyances, injuries, or evils by indirect means. the machinations of a party boss conspiracy implies a secret agreement among several people usually involving treason or great treachery. a conspiracy to fix prices cabal typically applies to political intrigue involving persons of some eminence. a cabal among powerful senators

Examples of conspiracy in a Sentence

The CIA uncovered a conspiracy against the government. They were accused of conspiracy to commit murder.

Recent Examples on the Web

Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and launder money in connection with the college-admissions cheating scandal. Melissa Korn, WSJ, "Actress Lori Loughlin and Husband Mossimo Giannulli Plead Not Guilty in College-Admissions Case," 15 Apr. 2019 Lori reportedly faces a felony charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Taysha Murtaugh, Woman's Day, "Lori Loughlin Allegedly Paid $500,000 in Bribes to Get Her Daughters Into College — Here's What We Know About the Girls," 15 Mar. 2019 The indictment continued: The turbofan engine targeted by members of the conspiracy was being developed through a partnership between Company I and an aerospace company based in the US. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Feds: Chinese spies orchestrated massive hack that stole aviation secrets," 31 Oct. 2018 Long-time Manafort partner Rick Gates faced similar charges, but pleaded guilty to false statement and conspiracy charges. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Donald Trump and lawyers blast Robert Mueller at one-year anniversary," 17 May 2018 After the crash, conspiracy theorists claim, the Olympic was an economic disaster. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Wild Conspiracy That the Titanic Never Sank," 27 Feb. 2019 On August 6, Facebook banned right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones; on August 13, the federal government filed charges saying that Facebook had violated the Fair Housing Act by allowing ads to discriminate against certain groups. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Facebook’s very bad year, explained," 21 Dec. 2018 And conspiracy theorists on the right have taken this skepticism a step further, insisting that the migrants must be being funded and organized by people who oppose Trump. Liliana Frankel, Teen Vogue, "A Day in the Life of the Migrant Caravan," 16 Nov. 2018 Jones, a conspiracy theorist, has made many defamatory remarks about the families of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Eileen Reslen, Town & Country, "Megyn Kelly's Most Controversial Moments Ever," 26 Oct. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for conspiracy

Middle English conspiracie, from Latin conspirare — see conspire

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Statistics for conspiracy

Last Updated

11 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conspiracy

The first known use of conspiracy was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for conspiracy

conspiracy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of conspiracy

: a secret plan made by two or more people to do something that is harmful or illegal
: the act of secretly planning to do something that is harmful or illegal

conspiracy

noun
con·​spir·​a·​cy | \ kən-ˈspir-ə-sē How to pronounce conspiracy (audio) \
plural conspiracies

Kids Definition of conspiracy

1 : a secret agreement to do something harmful or unlawful
2 : the act of plotting with others to do something harmful or unlawful
3 : a group of conspirators

conspiracy

noun
con·​spir·​a·​cy | \ kən-ˈspir-ə-sē How to pronounce conspiracy (audio) \
plural conspiracies

Legal Definition of conspiracy

1 : an agreement between two or more people to commit an act prohibited by law or to commit a lawful act by means prohibited by law also : the crime or tort of participating in a conspiracy — compare substantive crime

Note: Some states require an overt act in addition to the agreement to constitute conspiracy.

chain conspiracy
: a conspiracy in which the conspirators act separately and successively (as in distributing narcotics)
civil conspiracy
: a conspiracy that is not prosecuted as a crime but that forms the grounds for a lawsuit
criminal conspiracy
: a conspiracy prosecuted as a crime
2 : a group of conspirators

History and Etymology for conspiracy

Latin conspiratio, from conspirare to conspire — see conspire

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Comments on conspiracy

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