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

Mueller and a team of prosecutors have been working since May 2017 to determine if any Trump associates conspired with Russia to interfere in the election. Devlin Barrett And Matt Zapotosky,, "12 Russian intelligence officers charged by Mueller in hack of DNC, Clinton emails," 13 July 2018 Mueller and a team of prosecutors have been working since May 2017 to determine if any Trump associates conspired with Russia to interfere in the election. Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post, "Mueller indicts 12 Russian intelligence officers for allegedly conspiring to hack 2016 U.S. presidential election," 13 July 2018 No one knows if the Phillies and Giants conspired to set a baseball record that nearly a century later still exists. Frank Fitzpatrick,, "When and how the Phillies once played nine innings in 51 minutes," 9 July 2018 That's the allegation contained in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court in Minnesota, accusing some of the nation's biggest pork producers of conspired to fix prices. Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY, "Hormel, Tyson, Smithfield and other major pork producers accused of price-fixing," 28 June 2018 Instead of going down meekly when Tanner Scott and Brad Brach conspired to allow a pair of runs in the eighth inning to turn a 1-1 tie into a 3-1 deficit, the Orioles batted around in the ninth. Jon Meoli,, "Manny Machado hits two-run homer in 15th, Orioles earn 10-7 marathon win over Braves," 23 June 2018 In Florida, a jury was finding a doctor guilty of five federal drug charges, including conspiring to possess and distribute prescription opioids. Anchorage Daily News, "Unintended consequences: Inside the fallout of America’s crackdown on opioids," 17 June 2018 But as many have pointed out, attorney-client privilege doesn’t apply if the attorney is conspiring to help his client commit crimes or fraud. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "A theory on why the FBI raided Michael Cohen," 12 Apr. 2018 Bad actors take advantage of both extremes, abusing access to individuals on networks that are too open or freely conspiring on systems that are too closed. Jessica Donati, WSJ, "Facebook Data Scandal Raises Another Question: Can There Be Too Much Privacy?," 1 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

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

19 Sep 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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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