9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kuh n-spahyuh r] /kənˈspaɪər/
verb (used without object), conspired, conspiring.
to agree together, especially secretly, to do something wrong, evil, or illegal:
They conspired to kill the king.
to act or work together toward the same result or goal.
verb (used with object), conspired, conspiring.
to plot (something wrong, evil, or illegal).
Origin of conspire
1325-75; Middle English < Latin conspīrāre to act in harmony, conspire, equivalent to con- con- + spīrāre to breathe; see spirant, spirit
Related forms
conspirer, noun
conspiringly, adverb
nonconspiring, adjective
preconspire, verb, preconspired, preconspiring.
unconspired, adjective
unconspiring, adjective
unconspiringly, adverb
Can be confused
connive, conspire.
1. complot, intrigue. See plot. 2. combine, concur, cooperate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for conspire
  • Politics and problems in the industry conspire to make it tough to make money in this business.
  • The world seems to conspire against you when you're an adjunct.
  • Weather systems are complex and chaotic and small events can conspire to cause dramatic, sudden and unforeseeable shifts.
  • The headline and the article thus conspire to portray a brave little dog that tried to rescue human children.
  • Nature could conspire to give the carp a higher survival rate or simply turn off the daughterless gene.
  • Clearly, agencies or elements therein can and do conspire against the people.
  • Across the south other factors conspire against good schooling.
  • But once begun, many factors conspire to make the process expensive and frustrating.
  • Once a bubble is inflating many factors conspire to discourage a regulator from pricking it.
  • They will collude and conspire to conceal the truth.
British Dictionary definitions for conspire


verb when intr, sometimes foll by against
to plan or agree on (a crime or harmful act) together in secret
(intransitive) to act together towards some end as if by design: the elements conspired to spoil our picnic
Derived Forms
conspirer, noun
conspiringly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Old French conspirer, from Latin conspīrāre to plot together, literally: to breathe together, from spīrāre to breathe
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 conspire

late 14c., from Old French conspirer (14c.), from Latin conspirare "to agree, unite, plot," literally "to breathe together," from com- "together" (see com-) + spirare "to breathe" (see spirit (n.)). Or perhaps the notion is "to blow together" musical instruments, i.e., "To sound in unison." Related: Conspired; conspiring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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