[ kuhn-spir-uh-see ]
See synonyms for: conspiracyconspiratorial on

noun,plural con·spir·a·cies.
  1. the act of conspiring.

  2. an unlawful, harmful, or evil plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.

  1. a combination of persons for such an unlawful, harmful, or evil purpose: He joined the conspiracy to overthrow the government.

  2. Law. an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.

  3. any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.

Origin of conspiracy

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English conspiracie, probably from Anglo-French; see conspire, -acy; replacing Middle English conspiracioun; see conspiration

synonym study For conspiracy

2. Conspiracy, plot, intrigue, cabal all refer to surreptitious or covert schemes to accomplish some end, most often an evil one. A conspiracy usually involves a group entering into a secret agreement to achieve some illicit or harmful objective: a vicious conspiracy to control prices. A plot is a carefully planned secret scheme, usually by a small number of persons, to secure sinister ends: a plot to seize control of a company. An intrigue usually involves duplicity and deceit aimed at achieving either personal advantage or criminal or treasonous objectives: the petty intrigues of civil servants. Cabal refers either to a plan by a small group of highly-placed persons to overthrow or control a government, or to the group of persons themselves: a cabal of powerful lawmakers.

Other words for conspiracy

Other words from conspiracy

  • con·spir·a·tive, adjective
  • con·spir·a·to·ri·al [kuhn-spir-uh-tawr-ee-uhl], /kənˌspɪr əˈtɔr i əl/, con·spir·a·to·ry, adjective
  • pre·con·spir·a·cy, noun, plural pre·con·spir·a·cies.

Words Nearby conspiracy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use conspiracy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for conspiracy


/ (kənˈspɪrəsɪ) /

nounplural -cies
  1. a secret plan or agreement to carry out an illegal or harmful act, esp with political motivation; plot

  2. the act of making such plans in secret

Derived forms of conspiracy

  • conspirator, noun
  • conspiratorial (kənˌspɪrəˈtɔːrɪəl) or conspiratory, adjective
  • conspiratorially, adverb

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