con·​spire | \ kən-ˈspī(-ə)r How to pronounce conspire (audio) \
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 Brie's performance never grows lurid, however desperate Sarah becomes to convince others that great forces are conspiring against her. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Horse Girl': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 4 Feb. 2020 In recent weeks, Trump and his allies have suggested the Democratic Party is conspiring against Sanders, who was leading in the RealClearPolitics polling average of Iowa surveys heading into the caucuses. NBC News, "Trump's campaign shouts 'rigged' as Iowa caucuses thrown into chaos," 4 Feb. 2020 Supporters of Sanders began flocking in immediately after caucus locations close, all with the same complaint: that precinct chairs and other campaigns were conspiring against their candidate. Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner, "Iowa caucuses results reporting delays revive Bernie Sanders supporters concerns and conspiracy theories," 3 Feb. 2020 Suddenly, the system seemed to be conspiring against Sheilla. Max Bearak,, "Kenya’s blood banks are running dry after the US ended aid — and a baby’s life is at risk," 1 Feb. 2020 Suddenly, the system seemed to be conspiring against Sheilla. Washington Post, "Kenya’s blood banks are running dry after the U.S. ended aid — and a baby’s life is at risk," 30 Jan. 2020 Trump has claimed for three years that a cabal of top law enforcement officials, driven by political bias, conspired against him. Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY, "DOJ inspector general, set to release major report on FBI's Russia investigation, spent years prosecuting corrupt officials," 9 Dec. 2019 Newton also wrote that Capriola was conspiring against her. Emily Brindley,, "A ‘disturbing abuse of power’: Fired Simsbury town employee says officials tried to fake reasons for termination," 6 Dec. 2019 In his federal lawsuit, Haynes accuses both prosecutors and local law enforcement of conspiring against him in the murder case. Jeff Coen,, "An Illinois man spent two decades in prison for a murder he didn’t commit but ‘never gave up hope.’ A judge just declared him innocent.," 21 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for conspire

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for conspire

Last Updated

7 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Conspire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for conspire


How to pronounce conspire (audio)

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 How to pronounce conspire (audio) \
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 How to pronounce conspire (audio) \
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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