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

Huffman was among 15 parents who didn’t fight the government’s case, pleading guilty in May. A dozen parents who have admitted to conspiring with Singer are slated to be sentenced over the coming months, many of them by Talwani. Matthew Ormseth, Los Angeles Times, "Felicity Huffman gets 14 days in prison in college admissions scandal," 13 Sep. 2019 Ultimately, the investigation did not establish that the [Trump] Campaign coordinated or conspired with the Russian government in its election-interference activities. Deroy Murdock, National Review, "What Makes Joe Run?," 6 Sep. 2019 The firm also represents Homayoun Zadeh, who has pleaded not guilty to conspiring with Singer to win his daughter’s admission to USC. Bloomberg News,, "Coach in college scam ran a side hustle taking bribes on his own, prosecutors say," 5 Sep. 2019 Collaery, who had been K’s lawyer, has pleaded not guilty to conspiring with the former spy to reveal secrets. Washington Post, "Australian spy charged with bugging leak denied legal aid," 30 Aug. 2019 In fact, the report concludes no one in the president's campaign colluded, collaborated or conspired with the Russians. NBC News, "Full transcript: Mueller testimony before House Judiciary, Intelligence committees," 25 July 2019 In May, Pras Michel, a founder of the Fugees, pleaded not guilty to conspiring with Low to divert nearly $1 million in 1MDB funds to Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign without disclosing their source. Shashank Bengali,, "The global financial scandal that has spread from Malaysia to Hollywood," 10 July 2019 His nephew, Marlon Marín, was arrested last year along with Seuxis Hernández (aka Jesús Santrich), a FARC commander who is accused of conspiring to ship 10,000kg (22,000lb) of cocaine to the United States after the signing of the peace deal. The Economist, "Will Colombia return to war?," 5 Sep. 2019 BeckZack’s principal owner was Morris Levy, who was convicted in May 1988 of conspiring to extort payments from a record wholesaler. Steve Helling,, "30 Years After the Menendez Brothers Murders, Read PEOPLE's 1990 Cover Story," 20 Aug. 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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Statistics for conspire

Last Updated

17 Oct 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

What made you want to look up conspire? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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