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See more synonyms for collusion on Thesaurus.com
  1. a secret agreement, especially for fraudulent or treacherous purposes; conspiracy: Some of his employees were acting in collusion to rob him.
  2. Law. a secret understanding between two or more persons to gain something illegally, to defraud another of his or her rights, or to appear as adversaries though in agreement: collusion of husband and wife to obtain a divorce.
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Origin of collusion

1350–1400; Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin collūsiōn- (stem of collūsiō), equivalent to collūs(us) (past participle of collūdere to collude) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsnon·col·lu·sion, nounpre·col·lu·sion, noun
Can be confusedcollision collusion


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

deceit, scam, conspiracy, graft, complicity, dodge, plot, skunk, whitewash, connivance, sting, trick, cahoots, craft, guilt, gyp, racket, flimflam, scheme, intrigue

Examples from the Web for collusion

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Napier thought there was some collusion between the juggler and his retainer.


    Samuel Smiles

  • Will it be said that there was any collusion between St. Paul and the Pythoness?

    The Phantom World

    Augustin Calmet

  • Chevrial and the Germans could not be in collusion—such an alliance was unthinkable.

    The Destroyer

    Burton Egbert Stevenson

  • Seek the Emperor at once before coming to me, or he may suspect us to be in collusion.

    The Minister of Evil

    William Le Queux

  • You did that very slyly, Rufus, but if they see you, there'll be all sorts of suspicion about collusion.

British Dictionary definitions for collusion


  1. secret agreement for a fraudulent purpose; connivance; conspiracy
  2. a secret agreement between opponents at law in order to obtain a judicial decision for some wrongful or improper purpose
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Derived Formscollusive, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Latin collūsiō, from collūdere to collude
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 collusion


late 14c., from Old French collusion, from Latin collusionem (nominative collusio) "act of colluding," from colludere, from com- "together" (see com-) + ludere "to play," from ludus "game" (see ludicrous). "The notion of fraud or underhandedness is essential to collusion" [Fowler].

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper