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From Middle English colleccioun, collection, from Old French collection, from Latin collēctiō, collēctiōnem, from collēctus, from colligō (collect together), composed of con- +‎ legō (bring together, gather, collect), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *leǵ- (to gather, collect).


  • IPA(key): /kəˈlɛkʃən/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛkʃən
  • Hyphenation: col‧lec‧tion


collection (countable and uncountable, plural collections)

Museum stores its butterfly collection in special specimen drawers.
  1. A set of items or amount of material procured or gathered together.
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page vii:
      Secondly, I continue to base my concepts on intensive study of a limited suite of collections, rather than superficial study of every packet that comes to hand.
    • 1837, William Whewell, History of the Inductive Sciences
      collections of moisture
    • 1887, Robert Bartholow, A Treatise on the Practice of Medicine
      a purulent collection
    The attic contains a remarkable collection of antiques, oddities, and random junk.
    The asteroid belt consists of a collection of dust, rubble, and minor planets.
  2. Multiple related objects associated as a group.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 5, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Of all the queer collections of humans outside of a crazy asylum, it seemed to me this sanitarium was the cup winner. [] When you're well enough off so's you don't have to fret about anything but your heft or your diseases you begin to get queer, I suppose.
    He has a superb coin collection.
  3. The activity of collecting.
    Collection of trash will occur every Thursday.
  4. (set theory, topology, mathematical analysis) A set of sets; used because such a thing is in general too large to comply with the formal definition of a set.
  5. A gathering of money for charitable or other purposes, as by passing a contribution box for donations.
  6. (law) Debt collection.
  7. (obsolete) The act of inferring or concluding from premises or observed facts; also, that which is inferred.
  8. (UK) The jurisdiction of a collector of excise.
  9. (Oxford University, usually in the plural) A set of college exams generally taken at the start of the term.
  10. The quality of being collected; calm composure.

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Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Latin collēctiō, collēctiōnem. Cf. also Old French quieuçon, which may be inherited from the same source, and the modern cueillaison, which was probably formed analogically.



collection f (plural collections)

  1. collection

Derived terms[edit]

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  • Romanian: colecție
  • Turkish: koleksiyon

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