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

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 to violate the Clean Air Act. Tom Schoenberg,, "U.S. charges ex-VW CEO Winterkorn with fraud in diesel-cheating case," 4 May 2018 Winterkorn, who stepped down from his role as CEO days after the scandal was revealed, is accused of conspiring to defraud the United States and to violate the Clean Air Act. Bloomberg,, "U.S. charges Volkswagen ex-CEO in diesel-cheating case," 3 May 2018 Basically, Manafort has admitted to conspiring to commit offenses against and to defraud the US government, specifically the Justice Department and Treasury Department. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Why Paul Manafort pleaded guilty to “conspiracy against the United States”," 14 Sep. 2018 They were charged last year with conspiring to commit bank fraud and making false statements on a loan application and unlawful monetary transactions. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Rod Rosenstein delivers a stirring lecture on the rule of law, but actions matter more than words," 8 June 2018 The charges come less than a month after a former Central Intelligence Agency officer suspected of helping China unravel the agency’s spy network in that country was indicted on a charge of conspiring to commit espionage. Mike Ives, New York Times, "U.S. Army Veteran Tried to Spy for China, Officials Say," 5 June 2018 Robert Bird, 39, also of Highland, and Vincent Razvan Oajdea are both facing a count of conspiring to commit a crime. Hannah Fry,, "3 charged in credit card fraud case in Laguna Beach," 1 June 2018 Jackson is charged in a 10-count indictment with molesting a boy, plying him with liquor and conspiring to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. Jamie Spain,, "Michael Jackson Laments the 'Star Needs Some Space' in Trailer for New Documentary," 17 May 2018 Federal prosecutors said a jury in New York voted unanimously to convict Chow of a single count of conspiring to commit securities fraud and seven counts of securities fraud. Mike Rogoway,, "Founder of Chinese investment fund convicted of insider trading in Portland tech case," 25 Apr. 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

7 Feb 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 \
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

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