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

Parlatore added that witness accounts have shifted and there are discrepancies in their stories which, along with text messages shared between them, would prove the conspiracy. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Defense alleges accused SEAL’s teammates staged a mutiny against their chief," 19 June 2019 If convicted, the defendants face up to 99 years behind bars for each of the murder charges, the conspiracy to commit murder charge and the solicitation to commit murder charge. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana man offered teens in Alaska $9M to kill 19-year-old and send him the footage, feds say," 18 June 2019 Nida was sentenced to eight years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail, wire and bank fraud charges. Essence, "'Real Housewives Of Atlanta' Star Apollo Nida Back In Prison 9 Days After Being Released," 14 June 2019 There was no suggestion by prosecutors that Warren benefited in any way from the alleged conspiracy. Bob Ortega, CNN, "No verdict in controversial border aid case," 11 June 2019 The ban will reportedly affect a broad swath of some of the most popular conspiracy and bigoted content posted to the site, which has long been a source of controversy for YouTube. Paris Martineau, WIRED, "How Effective Will YouTube Be in Its Latest Ban on Extremism?," 5 June 2019 No concrete evidence of the Titanic conspiracy stands up to the evidence presented by the historians. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Wild Conspiracy That the Titanic Never Sank," 27 Feb. 2019 Jünger stayed close enough to the fringe of the Stauffenberg conspiracy to escape punishment after its failure in July 1944. Dominic Green, WSJ, "‘A German Officer in Occupied Paris’ Review: A Very Refined Occupation," 15 Feb. 2019 The original Seth Rich conspiracy did not take off when initially propagated in July 2016 by fringe and pro-Russia sites, but only a year later, as Fox News revived it when James Comey was fired. Casey Newton, The Verge, "A majority of Americans don’t think social networks are good for the world," 21 Nov. 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

22 Jun 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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