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From Middle English conspiracie, from Anglo-Norman conspiracie, from Latin cōnspīrātiō. Doublet of conspiration.


  • IPA(key): /kənˈspɪɹəsi/
  • (file)


conspiracy (countable and uncountable, plural conspiracies)

  1. The act of two or more persons, called conspirators, working secretly to obtain some goal, usually understood with negative connotations.
    • 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], Francesca Carrara. [], volume III, London: Richard Bentley, [], (successor to Henry Colburn), OCLC 630079698, page 23:
      Conspiracies, like all other exercises of human ingenuity, are of very different kinds. The gloomy plots arranged in old Italian halls...
    • 2007, John Gray, Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia:
      Modern political religions may reject Christianity, but they cannot do without demonology. The Jacobins, the Bolsheviks and the Nazis all believed in vast conspiracies against them, as do radical Islamists today. It is never the flaws of human nature that stand in the way of Utopia. It is the workings of evil forces.
  2. (law) An agreement between two or more persons to break the law at some time in the future.
  3. A group of ravens.
  4. A group of lemurs.
    • 2018 February 8, Laitman, Jeffrey T., “The Search for the Intersection of Form and Function: Looking for Clues into What Has Determined How, Why, and When Animals Came to Move the Way They Do”, in The Anatomical Record, volume 301, number 3, DOI:10.1002/ar.23771:
      Indeed, as I sat, forlorn, never having found my particular conspiracy of lemurs (how about that for a name for a group of lemurs? The name lemur itself comes from the Latin for “spirits of the dead”) …
    • 2018 November 9, “Red alert: New lemurs join zoo conspiracy”, in Oregon Zoo[1], retrieved November 5, 2019:
      The Oregon Zoo welcomed two red-ruffed lemurs this week, bringing the total number in the conspiracy — the name for a group of lemurs — to seven.
  5. (linguistics) A situation in which different phonological or grammatical rules lead to similar or related outcomes.
  6. (by ellipsis) A conspiracy theory; a hypothesis alleging conspiracy.
    • 2008, Edward Snajdr, Nature Protests: The End of Ecology in Slovakia, University of Washington Press, →ISBN, page 176:
      Rather than propagating conspiracies about the evils of wealthy Jewry, they beat up poor Roma in back alleys.
    • 2018, Rita Santos, The Deep State, Greenhaven Publishing, →ISBN, page 99:
      The internet helps spread conspiracies, but it can also be used to verify claims made by politicians and the media.

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conspiracy (third-person singular simple present conspiracies, present participle conspiracying, simple past and past participle conspiracied)

  1. (rare, proscribed) To conspire.
    • 2007, Brian Francis Slattery, Spaceman Blues: A Love Song, page 45:
      He knew I would come for him when I discovered what he did, so he, he conspiracied to put me in prison.
    • 2019, Vincent Trigili, Rise of the Goblin King:
      “What are you two conspiracying about up here?” asked Kira, walking up next to me.
    • 2019 November 21, Alex Henderson, “The looney CrowdStrike conspiracy claims debunked by Fiona Hill during her bombshell impeachment testimony”, in AlterNet:
      Promoters of the CrowdStrike theory often claim that CrowdStrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch is Ukrainian, which they see as “proof” of his willingness to conspiracy with the Ukrainian government and Democrats against Putin and Trump in 2016.

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