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

The question hanging over all the proceedings was why five Anchorage teenagers allegedly conspired together to kill Cynthia Hoffman. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "Three more teens charged in Thunderbird Falls killing," 10 June 2019 The prosecution also argued that Warren had conspired with Irineo Mujica, director of Pueblo Sin Fronteras who ran a migrant shelter in the Mexican border town of Sonyota. John Moore/getty Images, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Trial revives debate: When does border humanitarian aid become a crime?," 9 June 2019 Prosecutors allege that members of the gang conspired to commit five murders and had planned four others. James Queally,, "Feds indict Aryan Brotherhood prison gang members on murder, drug and other charges," 6 June 2019 As Mackenzie Makatche and her mom conspired to bring more Newfoundland dogs into their family — as if her dad hadn’t noticed the seven beautiful, bear-like slobber factories taking over his house — Makatche’s mom shared her wish for their dogs. Stephanie Farr,, "Delco dog mom has 9 Newfoundlands, a huge online following, and her own meme | We the People," 5 June 2019 The face of Guy Fawkes, who in life conspired to blow up Parliament, has always stood against the establishment. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "Handmaids Tale Garb Is the Viral Protest Uniform of 2019," 5 June 2019 Facebook as of this week is still running paid ads for a prominent antivaccination group that suggests unethical doctors have conspired to hide evidence of harm vaccines do to children. Jeff Horwitz, WSJ, "Facebook Pledged Crackdown on Vaccine Misinformation. Then Not Much Happened.," 30 May 2019 What happens when circumstances have conspired to not give him the happiest of endings? Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "Everything We Know So Far About 'Star Trek: Picard'," 16 May 2019 On Sunday, July 15, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted a Russian national, Maria Butina, 29, and later charged her with conspiring against the U.S. as a secret agent as part of a Russian covert influence campaign. Cindy Otis, Teen Vogue, "Accused Russian Spy Maria Butina Was Charged With Conspiring Against the United States as a Secret Agent," 18 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

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Statistics for conspire

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

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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 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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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

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behavior toward others

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