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 Xiaoning Sui, 48, of Surrey, British Columbia, was charged with a single count of conspiracy and fraud in the indictment unsealed in Boston’s federal court. Washington Post, "New parent charged in admissions scam, linked to $400K bribe," 17 Sep. 2019 Xiaoning Sui, 48, of Surrey, British Columbia, was charged with a single count of conspiracy and fraud in the indictment unsealed in Boston's federal court. CBS News, "Woman accused of paying $400,000 bribe to get her son into UCLA," 17 Sep. 2019 Fisher and Tiler Evan Pribbernow – two of the six charged in the kidnapping and murder - have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to engage in racketeering. oregonlive, "Ex-Gypsy Joker motorcycle club member accused of racketeering fears retaliation in custody, testimony reveals," 10 Sep. 2019 Roland Labome, 34, and Jerrell Grant, 37, both of Houston, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to unlawfully possess firearms by a felon. Hannah Dellinger, Houston Chronicle, "Suspected Houston gang member pleads to gun charges from rap video," 9 Sep. 2019 Saad Ahmed, 32, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Luke Garrett, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Las Vegas businessman pleads guilty to tracking nearly $1.5M in counterfeit electronics," 5 Sep. 2019 William Hoehn, of Fargo, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping in the August 2017 attack on Savanna Greywind, who died of her injuries but whose baby survived. Dave Kolpack, Twin Cities, "North Dakota court overturns man’s life sentence in baby cut from womb case," 22 Aug. 2019 Jay Schwartz, who previously represented the trash hauler in several legal proceedings, is facing three counts of bribery and bribery conspiracy in the probe, according to an indictment in U.S. District Court unsealed Tuesday. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Attorney who represented Rizzo trash hauler indicted in Macomb County corruption probe," 6 Aug. 2019 Kealoha and her retired police chief husband were convicted last month of conspiracy in a plot to frame her uncle. USA TODAY, "Tubing, Hemingway, great white sharks: News from around our 50 states," 21 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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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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not being in agreement or harmony

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