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 But while the seaward beauty moment may have skewed summer-y on the whole, certain detailing conspired to make the vacation-minded moment a wintery one. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Bella Hadid's White Headband is a Winter Vacation Win," 6 Dec. 2019 The massive rainfall, which landed mostly upstream, conspired with the tide to cause the largest natural disaster for the area in the 20th century. Jessica Wapner, Quartz, "Vietnamese women are hit harder by climate change—but they’re starting to fight back," 1 Dec. 2019 Motorola sued in 2010 for allegedly conspiring with former employees to steal trade secrets. Washington Post, "How Huawei Became a Target for Governments," 22 Nov. 2019 According to Andrew's cousin John Bowes Lyon, the families had conspired to force the groom-to-be's hand. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Why Prince Charles Didn't Marry Camilla in the First Place," 18 Nov. 2019 But in the series, the Queen Mother and Lord Mountbatten conspire against the couple to ensure that Charles never marries Camilla. Rachael Bunyan, Time, "The True Story Behind Prince Charles' Storyline on The Crown Season 3," 15 Nov. 2019 When officials conspire to rig a game against Boone and his Titans, Yoast catches on to what’s happening, and stands by his coaching partner, threatening to expose everyone involved in fixing the match. Alex Kane, USA TODAY, "How to watch Remember the Titans," 12 Nov. 2019 However, Sheikh, who was also the first prime minister of an autonomous J&K, later fell out with Nehru over his summary dismissal from office in 1953 for allegedly conspiring with Americans to make Kashmir an independent state. Riyaz Wani, Quartz India, "Farooq Abdullah once defended India amid global backlash on Kashmir. Now, he has to defend himself," 19 Sep. 2019 More than 30 parents have been charged for allegedly conspiring with scam mastermind Rick Singer to cheat on standardized tests or bribe college coaches to get their children an advantage in the admissions process. Eric Levenson, CNN, "A coming ruling in the college admissions scam could mean parents won't get much prison time," 11 Sep. 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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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

12 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Conspire.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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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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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).


easily led, controlled, or managed

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