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

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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 Even in the face of benign explanations, the idea of a government conspiracy has proved compelling. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, "Fireworks Are Booming in American Cities. Conspiracies Are Booming on Twitter.," 24 June 2020 Martins Friday Inalegwu, 31, and Steincy Mathieu, 24, are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey said in a press release. NBC News, "Couple charged in $6M online-dating scam; 1 victim embezzled to pay them, prosecutor says," 24 June 2020 Limiting the amplification of targeted harassment, disinformation, and conspiracy theories would lower engagement and revenues. Roger Mcnamee, Time, "Social Media Platforms Claim Moderation Will Reduce Harassment, Disinformation and Conspiracies. It Won't," 24 June 2020 John Mervyn Price, the company’s former chief operating officer, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, 10 counts of mail fraud, 10 counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, "Top execs of Dallas ‘miracle’ mineral water company admit to massive fraud," 12 June 2020 The conspiracy began at a point before October 2017 and continued to about Jan. 25 of this year, the indictment alleges. Laura Mcknight, NOLA.com, "Garyville man pleads guilty in meth-distribution scheme," 16 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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Time Traveler for conspiracy

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for conspiracy

Last Updated

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Conspiracy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conspiracy. Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for conspiracy

conspiracy

noun
How to pronounce conspiracy (audio)

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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