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

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 Notes of ripe black cherry/raspberry fruit and warm notes of soft leather and spice conspire to make this one a versatile choice for many dishes, or just for enjoying on its own. Katie Kelly Bell, Forbes, 6 Nov. 2021 Let the father suddenly come to the realization that his wife is ill, too, and also show the reader that this is a dubious claim, and that the story is locked into a time when men conspire against women in this way. David Means, The New Yorker, 25 Oct. 2021 Great graphics and a compelling story with some of the best VR combat out there all conspire to immerse you in the zombie apocalypse in ways that few other games have achieved. Erik Kain, Forbes, 28 Oct. 2021 Intense rain rates and the impervious surface of urban and suburban regions conspire to create the difficult situation. Washington Post, 17 Sep. 2021 Different time zones, language and cultural barriers and a wide range of other factors conspire to make overseas relationships uniquely difficult. Josh Millet, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 Huawei, the world's largest supplier of network gear used by phone and internet companies, also faces charges in the U.S. that allege the company conspire to steal trade secrets. Robert Legare, CBS News, 24 Sep. 2021 Of course, this sets Ruby on a collision course with her family, particularly after events conspire to make her presence on the boat even more critical. Bill Goodykoontz, Detroit Free Press, 12 Aug. 2021 Of course this sets Ruby on a collision course with her family, particularly after events conspire to make her presence on the boat even more critical. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 12 Aug. 2021

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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Last Updated

16 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Conspire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 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.


intransitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on conspire

Nglish: Translation of conspire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of conspire for Arabic Speakers


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