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

Several face murder charges, while others are accused of conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Washington Post, "Another man charged in 10-year-old's death," 17 July 2019 On Wednesday, Mexican drug lord El Chapo will be sentenced on murder conspiracy and drug trafficking charges in a New York courtroom. Julia Wick, latimes.com, "Essential California: Planned ICE raids bring widespread fear but few arrests," 15 July 2019 Guzman was convicted in February of murder conspiracy and drug trafficking. Time, "Prosecutors: Drug Lord El Chapo Should Get Life in Prison," 11 July 2019 Laird was initially charged with first-degree kidnapping, second-degree assault, coercion, tampering with evidence, conspiracy and other charges related to the Feb. 18, 2017 incident. David Owens, courant.com, "Former state trooper faces eight years in prison after pleading no contest to beating, torturing man in Wethersfield," 10 July 2019 One of the other high-profile cases of Acosta’s tenure as U.S. attorney was the prosecution of Washington, D.C., lobbyist Jack Abramoff on conspiracy and wire fraud charges. Anthony Man, sun-sentinel.com, "Alex Acosta, prosecutor forever marked by slap on wrist for billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, sent 6 South Florida politicians to prison for corruption," 10 July 2019 Guzman was convicted of murder conspiracy and drug trafficking charges. NBC News, "Judge rejects Mexican drug lord El Chapo's bid for new trial," 3 July 2019 High-end college consultant Allen Koh was shocked to learn his colleague and competitor Rick Singer pleaded guilty to crimes including conspiracy and racketeering. Jennifer Levitz, WSJ, "A Core of the College Admissions Scandal Was Built at Elite Florida Sports Academy," 1 July 2019 His conviction follows the April guilty plea by his top lieutenant in the group, Mack, to racketeering conspiracy and racketeering charges. Aurelie Corinthios, PEOPLE.com, "Lifetime Is Making a NXIVM Sex Cult Movie After Founder Keith Raniere's Conviction," 1 July 2019

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

20 Jul 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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