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 Friends Ross and Monica conspire to get their parents vaccinated on Long Island. Kara Baskin,, "How would Larry David handle Governor Baker’s new ‘companion appointments’?," 12 Feb. 2021 In spite of a few spasms of numbing air, strong jet stream winds may conspire to keep the coldest air of winter north of Minnesota. Star Tribune, "Rollercoaster Highs This Week After The Sixth Warmest Start To January," 17 Jan. 2021 Patients whose illness may not require admission to hospitals conspire to strain hospitals, Omenka said. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "As COVID-19 hospitalizations near 100,000 in US, experts fear facilities soon be 'overrun' by patients and a lack of staff," 3 Dec. 2020 That’s what happens in Asia, Koch notes, where genes and ash borer enemies conspire to protect trees. Gabriel Popkin, Science | AAAS, "Can an ambitious breeding effort save North America’s ash trees?," 12 Nov. 2020 When a lawyer and a client together conspire to commit a criminal act, the attorney-client privilege evaporates. Noah Feldman Bloomberg Opinion (tns), Star Tribune, "A pardon for Giuliani could be a criminal act," 2 Dec. 2020 But time, fate and other folk seem to conspire against Strike and his business partner, Robin Ellacott. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "The Best Books of 2020: Mysteries," 10 Dec. 2020 Several pivotal and somewhat forced events conspire to push Rosemary and Anthony closer together, and despite the bumps along the way — and Adam’s looming presence — there’s little doubt where these two lonely souls are headed. Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, "Review: A heavy dose of blarney fuels the Irish-set romantic comedy ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’," 9 Dec. 2020 And after his successful stint in the XFL ended prematurely in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, Johnson wondered if his age, coupled with a global health crisis, would conspire to force him into retirement. Eric Branch,, "What a journey, man: 49ers’ Josh Johnson continuing his unique football life," 23 Nov. 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

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Conspire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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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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