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 Catherine and her lover Count Alexei Grigoryevich Orlov did conspire to overthrow the emperor, though their revolt was mostly violence-free. Leah Marilla Thomas,, "How Catherine The Great’s Coup Against Her Husband Peter Really Happened," 15 May 2020 The Raiders already have protested, claiming the league is conspiring against the Silver & Black because Goodell refused to allow the Raiders to make their picks via overhead projector. Scott Ostler,, "NFL draft or ‘Wayne’s World’? Basement broadcast reminds of simpler times," 22 Apr. 2020 Both factors came into play in the Niyato Industries case, a scheme from 2012 to 2016 in which Stencil and at least nine others conspired to bilk some 140 investors out of more than $2.7 million, according to federal prosecutors. NBC News, "Hype, hope and promise: How green energy scams trick investors and rake in money," 16 Mar. 2020 The Attorney General's Office alleges that as school registrar, Vega conspired with Hughes and Cadiz to over-report to the Arizona Department of Education the number of students enrolled. Craig Harris, azcentral, "Arizona charter school principal pleads guilty in $2.5 million enrollment scheme," 14 Feb. 2020 The company was charged with violating the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and conspiring with Pharma Co. X, and will have to create a website detailing its misconduct as part of the agreement. Author: Antonia Noori Farzan, Anchorage Daily News, "A tech company gave doctors free software - rigged to encourage them to prescribe opioids, prosecutors say," 28 Jan. 2020 Like a whole slew of the Remain establishment in the U.K., most of them actually worked with Brussels to conspire against Britain: to thwart Britain’s attempts to exit the EU. Douglas Murray, National Review, "Brexit, for Real This Time," 19 Dec. 2019 But Schneider said Karnati knowingly and intentionally conspired with others, including the students, to commit visa fraud. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, "ICE and DOJ defend creating fake university in Michigan that lured students," 9 Dec. 2019 The two men allegedly conspired to obtain loans from the SBA using false information. NBC News, "Pennsylvania hospital celebrates release of one of first COVID-19 patients," 7 May 2020

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

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Conspire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 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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