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

Like its predecessors, TSP offers juicy palace conspiracies, smoldering chemistry, and lavish costumes. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The First Teaser Trailer for," 25 Jan. 2019 Ho, a former home affairs secretary in Hong Kong, has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, money laundering and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Jim Mustian, The Seattle Times, "Former UN president backs indicted Hong Kong businessman," 27 Nov. 2018 Many have pointed out that these attacks could be motivated by anti-Semitism, as they are sometimes portrayed in terms of a globalist conspiracy and, for some, the term globalist is an anti-Semitic dog whistle. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "After Years of George Soros Conspiracy Theories, Someone Targeted His Home with an Explosive Device," 23 Oct. 2018 In the most high-profile case related to Mueller’s investigation, Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, was indicted in October on a host of charges, including conspiracy, money laundering and making false statements to the FBI. Rob Tornoe, Philly.com, "Ahead of Trump's meeting with Putin, Mueller indicts 12 Russians for hacking DNC emails," 13 July 2018 Most of the 19 defendants from 11 states spent nearly two years in federal custody awaiting trial on charges including conspiracy, threatening and assaulting federal officers, firearm offenses, obstruction and extortion. Washington Post, "Judge rejects government bid to reopen activist rancher case," 6 July 2018 All are charged with conspiracy to distribute drugs, and some are charged individually with possessing firearms, or specific sales of drugs. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "7 charged in heroin wholesaling indictment headed by alleged Milwaukee ringleader 'Joe Millionaire'," 3 July 2018 Before Orban turned full-time to anti-immigration conspiracies in 2015, many Hungarians were getting sick of the newfound flashy lifestyles of the ministers in Orban’s Fidesz party. Josephine Huetlin, The New Republic, "Why Do Populists Frequently Get Away With Corruption?," 25 June 2018 More: Feds: Reserve Oakland County deputy was an opioid pill pusher Warner was indicted on eight counts of conspiracy, federal program bribery, federal program theft, money laundering and obstruction of justice. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Feds: Ex-Detroit airport manager took bribes, ate evidence to cover up crime," 23 May 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

16 Mar 2019

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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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