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[kuh-loo-zhuh n] /kəˈlu ʒən/
a secret agreement, especially for fraudulent or treacherous purposes; conspiracy:
Some of his employees were acting in collusion to rob him.
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.
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 forms
noncollusion, noun
precollusion, noun
Can be confused
collision, collusion.
1. intrigue, connivance, complicity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for collusion
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He acquitted the Rymers (at whose house the séance was held) of collusion, and spoke very highly of their moral character.

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

    The Phantom World Augustin Calmet
  • Was he now engaged in the act of collusion or treachery, to which every native subject of the King seemed to come sooner or later?

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

    The Destroyer Burton Egbert Stevenson
  • The hired advocate may calumniate as he will, but he can show no collusion or connivance on your part.

British Dictionary definitions for collusion


secret agreement for a fraudulent purpose; connivance; conspiracy
a secret agreement between opponents at law in order to obtain a judicial decision for some wrongful or improper purpose
Derived Forms
collusive, 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
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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].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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