con·spire | \kən-ˈspī(-ə)r \
conspired; conspiring

Definition of conspire 

intransitive verb

1a : to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or an act which becomes unlawful as a result of the secret agreement accused of conspiring to overthrow the government conspired to monopolize and restrict trade

b : scheme

2 : to act in harmony toward a common end Circumstances conspired to defeat his efforts. … the sun and the wind conspired to make splinters out of solid wood.— B. J. Oliphant

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Examples of conspire in a Sentence

conspired to replace the leader with someone more easily influenced foul weather and airline foul-ups seemed to be conspiring to ruin our vacation

Recent Examples on the Web

On an overcast morning a month ago, these three factors conspired against 3-year-old Younous Abdallah. Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post, "A Yemeni toddler fought for his life in a hospital while adults battled each other," 25 June 2018 Together George and Charlotte conspired to steal the show – per usual. Ashley Hoffman, Time, "Kate Middleton Comforted Princess Charlotte After She Fell During Her Big Moment at Trooping the Colour," 9 June 2018 The trio conspired to recruit workers in Mexico, charging them as much as $3,000 to obtain the highly coveted visas. Geoffrey Mohan,, "Three men charged with scamming agricultural guest workers," 17 May 2018 Entertainment conspired with two employees to steal Lee's identity. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Stan Lee files suit against former company," 16 May 2018 The men are charged with conspiring to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin and possession with the intent to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin, prosecutors said. Jeff Weiner,, "Orlando man tried to flush heroin down toilet during raid by feds, court records say," 13 July 2018 Pitino was fired in September 2017 in the wake of unrelated accusations that an executive from Adidas, which outfits the Cardinals' athletic teams, and others conspired to steer top recruits to Louisville. Jim Higdon,, "Louisville players sue NCAA for implying connections to prostitution scandal," 11 July 2018 Two men were charged Wednesday in US District Court in Boston with allegedly conspiring to sell fentanyl in Lawrence and Methuen, federal prosecutors said. Katie Camero,, "Two men charged with fentanyl conspiracy," 11 July 2018 Stay away from this entire site on July 9, 2018... these are all the places that conspired to prosecute me and took away my freedom for 157 days ten years ago... Cameron Knight,, "Hamilton County Justice Center bomb suspect: 'Hope I don't get caught with my device'," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conspire.' 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 conspire

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for conspire

Middle English, from Anglo-French conspirer, from Latin conspirare to be in harmony, conspire, from com- + spirare to breathe

Latin conspirare to be in harmony, to join in an unlawful agreement, from com- together + spirare to breathe

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Statistics for conspire

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conspire

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

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More Definitions for conspire



English Language Learners Definition of conspire

: to secretly plan with someone to do something that is harmful or illegal

: to happen in a way that produces bad or unpleasant results


con·spire | \kən-ˈspīr \
conspired; conspiring

Kids Definition of conspire

1 : to make an agreement with others especially in secret to do an unlawful act

2 : to act together Events conspired to spoil our plans.

con·spire | \kən-ˈspīr \
conspired; conspiring

Legal Definition of conspire 

: to join in a conspiracy — compare solicit

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Comments on conspire

What made you want to look up conspire? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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