con·​spire kən-ˈspī(-ə)r How to pronounce conspire (audio)
conspired; conspiring

intransitive verb

: 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
: scheme
: 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

Example Sentences

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 The circumstances that conspire to throw Anne and Frederick in each other’s paths again eight lonely years after their split derive from the Elliot family having to endure some reluctant belt-tightening. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 July 2022 Here, two Miami private school kids — both publicly embarrassed by their peers — conspire to cozy up to each other’s enemies, to learn their secrets and ruin their lives. Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2022 Temperature contrast between these dueling air masses, and an approaching wave of low pressure aloft, will conspire to trigger the development of an area of low pressure on the frontal boundary this evening. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, 8 July 2022 While rates for traveling to Hawaii typically drop during the fall shoulder season, several additional factors will conspire to make this year particularly unique. Will Mcgough, Forbes, 16 Sep. 2021 FirstEnergy later admitted that Jones helped conspire to pay the bribery money to Householder, as well as additional millions in bribes to Sam Randazzo, the former chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland, 15 Sep. 2022 Most shocking, Saylor stands accused of recruiting his lieutenants at MicroStrategy to conspire in an intricate plan for orchestrating the fraud. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 7 Sep. 2022 Anyone who has ever tried to manage any large group (and maybe even a not-so-large group) will sigh in recognition at the way problems seem to find each other and conspire together. Kyle Smith, WSJ, 25 Aug. 2022 In the book, white supremacists conspire to bomb FBI headquarters and spark a wider war against the government. Marc Fisher, Anchorage Daily News, 27 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French conspirer, from Latin conspirare to be in harmony, conspire, from com- + spirare to breathe

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of conspire was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near conspire

Cite this Entry

“Conspire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



con·​spire kən-ˈspī(ə)r How to pronounce conspire (audio)
conspired; conspiring
: to agree secretly to do an unlawful act : plot
conspiring to overthrow the dictator
: to act together
measles and the weather conspired to spoil our vacation

Legal Definition


intransitive verb

con·​spire kən-ˈspīr How to pronounce conspire (audio)
conspired; conspiring
: 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

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