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

They are all included in this, conspiring against Trump not to get elected and then, of course, to stop him after he was elected. Fox News, "Reps. Jordan, Meadows react to Strzok-Page texts about leaks," 12 Sep. 2018 What the heck are Zlata and Dr. G doing together conspiring against Desna? Nina Metz,, "‘Claws’ Episode 5 recap: 5 things to know about ‘Vaginalologist’ and the good doctor’s betrayal," 9 July 2018 Republicans on the panel contend the department has conspired against President Donald Trump and withheld important documents. Mary Clare Jalonick And Eric Tucker,, "Rosenstein, Wray face angry House Republicans in hearing," 28 June 2018 Done dirty by the first division MLS, an SAFC win would’ve been a nice satisfying gut punch to a league that conspired against this city. San Antonio Express-News, "Suds and duds: SAFC loses Open Cup match," 6 June 2018 But if that widening further marginalizes noncommercial work — which doesn’t view itself as exclusive but simply as endangered in an economic system that conspires against it — something important will be lost. Jon Pareles And Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, "Kendrick Lamar Shakes Up the Pulitzer Game: Let’s Discuss," 17 Apr. 2018 The timing of the rule change and the Maria Butina charges is ... not ideal The Justice Department on Monday charged Maria Butina, a Russian national, with conspiring against the US as a foreign agent. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The government is making it easier for “dark money” donors to go unnamed," 17 July 2018 Roger Then, 29, a City of Paterson police officer, was charged Wednesday with conspiring to violate an individual's civil rights and with misprision of felony for concealing that civil rights violation, the US attorney's office said. Elizabeth Joseph, CNN, "NJ police officer charged after alleged assault of hospital patient," 1 June 2018 Winterkorn, who stepped down from his role as CEO days after the scandal was revealed, is accused of conspiring to defraud the U.S. and violate the Clean Air Act. Fortune, "Ex-VW CEO Winterkorn Charged by U.S. in Diesel-Cheating Case," 4 May 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

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Statistics for conspire

Last Updated

12 Dec 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

History and Etymology for conspire

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on conspire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with conspire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for conspire

Spanish Central: Translation of conspire

Nglish: Translation of conspire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of conspire for Arabic Speakers

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).


a nest or breeding place

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