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

Dale Emmons is also charged in the alleged conspiracy. Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, "In closing argument, prosecutor says Lundergan's campaign mistakes were 'deliberate'," 11 Sep. 2019 The drug trafficking conspiracy began in 2016, according to the indictment. NBC News, "Feds announce seizure of enough fentanyl to kill 14 million people, 35 arrested," 30 Aug. 2019 The Russian conspiracy went on largely in the open, with most of the clandestine bits hidden under a diaphanous cover. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "Are Spies More Trouble Than They’re Worth?," 26 Aug. 2019 But the new conspiracy without the theory is coming mainly from the right. N.c., The Economist, "Conspiracy theories are dangerous—here’s how to crush them," 12 Aug. 2019 Yet another associate, who worked at a substance abuse treatment center in Bridgeport, joined the conspiracy, prosecutors said. Edmund H. Mahony, courant.com, "Bridgeport woman gets prison in multimillion-dollar welfare swindle," 7 Aug. 2019 Bogus consulting The conspiracy spanned about seven years. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, "Ex-Dallas County Schools superintendent who had 'perfect life' gets 7-year sentence for taking bribes," 7 Aug. 2019 Even after Obama released a long-form version of his birth certificate, hoping to quell the conspiracy, Trump kept floating the idea that Obama was an illegitimate president. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "Here are the times Donald Trump's critics say he stoked racial tensions," 5 Aug. 2019 Two of the six who are charged in both the racketeering conspiracy and the killing of a former club member have entered guilty pleas to racketeering. oregonlive.com, "Feds won’t pursue death penalty in Gypsy Joker Outlaw Motorcycle kidnapping, murder conspiracy cases," 26 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

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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