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  1. the act of collecting.
  2. something that is collected; a group of objects or an amount of material accumulated in one location, especially for some purpose or as a result of some process: a stamp collection; a collection of unclaimed hats in the checkroom; a collection of books on Churchill.
  3. the works of art constituting the holdings of an art museum: a history of the museum and of the collection.
  4. the gathered or exhibited works of a single painter, sculptor, etc.: an excellent Picasso collection.
  5. collections, the various holdings of an art museum organized by category, as painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, or film: the director of the collections.
  6. the clothes or other items produced by a designer, especially for a seasonal line: the spring collection.
  7. a sum of money collected, especially for charity or church use.
  8. Manège. act of bringing or coming into a collected attitude.

Origin of collection

1350–1400; Middle English colleccioun (< Anglo-French) < Latin collēctiōn- (stem of collēctiō), equivalent to collēct(us) (past participle of colligere; see collect1) + -iōn- -ion
Related formscol·lec·tion·al, adjectivenon·col·lec·tion, nounpre·col·lec·tion, nounsub·col·lec·tion, noun

Synonyms for collection

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2. accumulation, aggregation, mass, heap, pile, hoard, store. 7. contribution(s), alms. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for collection

Contemporary Examples of collection

Historical Examples of collection

British Dictionary definitions for collection


  1. the act or process of collecting
  2. a number of things collected or assembled together
  3. a selection of clothes, esp as presented by a particular designer for a specified season
  4. something gathered into a mass or pile; accumulationa collection of rubbish
  5. a sum of money collected or solicited, as in church
  6. removal, esp regular removal of letters from a postbox
  7. (often plural) (at Oxford University) a college examination or an oral report by a tutor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for collection

late 14c., "action of collecting," from Old French collection (14c.), from Latin collectionem (nominative collectio) "a gathering together," noun of action from colligere (see collect). Especially of money gathered for religious or charitable purposes from 1530s. Meaning "a group of objects viewed as a whole" is from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper