There are 2 main definitions of collect in English:


Syllabification: col·lect
Pronunciation: /kəˈlekt


[with object]
1Bring or gather together (things, typically when scattered or widespread): he went around the office collecting old coffee cups he collected up all his clothing
More example sentences
  • They shot at anything and everything, except the clays, which were often collected up unscathed and reused.
  • This post collects a number of these political discussions.
  • We're collecting emergency numbers from the workers today.
1.1Accumulate and store over a period of time: collect rainwater to use on the garden
More example sentences
  • To counter the drain on scarce water supplies, rainwater will be collected in underground tanks and a new breed of wildlife-rich village pond.
  • At present rain water is being collected in large storage dams and reticulated to the end consumer via a network of pipes, pumps and treatment plant to ensure drinking water quality.
  • Rainwater can be collected in plenty during rainy seasons, but we waste it by allowing it to flow into the sea.
1.2Systematically seek and acquire (items of a particular kind) as a hobby: I’ve started collecting stamps [no object]: the urge to collect, to have the full set, is in us all
More example sentences
  • He doesn't have any hobbies - doesn't collect anything or travel anywhere; doesn't read or listen to music.
  • Her newest hobby is collecting each of the new Euro coins from each country.
  • Mr. G. Sethuraman, an active philatelist who has been collecting stamps since 1974, says this hobby has a high knowledge-gaining potential.
1.3 [no object] Come together and form a group or mass: worshipers collected together in a stadium dust and dirt collect so quickly
More example sentences
  • Hollin has collected together a range of individuals and collaborators to provide a concise but comprehensive overview of the principles and premises inherent in this area.
  • It defines the word assembly as a company of persons collected together in one place usually for a common purpose.
  • Since the particles start with zero energy, this means that by the time they have collected together to form a star or a planet they have negative energy.
gather, assemble, meet, muster, congregate, convene, converge, flock together
2Call for and take away; fetch: the children were collected from school
More example sentences
  • Swinford players will be collected up at the Gateway Hotel, Swinford at 8.15 am.
  • Meet your coach, collect the right number of departing guests from their hotels and get them to the airport - then do the same in reverse for the arrivals.
  • If you want to be one of the DJ's, you need to arrive at the venue at 7: 00 pm to collect your number (more details to follow).
fetch, go/come to get, call for, meet
2.1Go somewhere and accept or receive (something), especially as a right or due: she went to Oxford to collect her honorary degree
More example sentences
  • The 72 year old was in town to collect an honorary ACTRA award.
  • Battier's varied gifts as a player make him the favorite to claim all the awards Martin collected this season.
  • The 54-year-old actress is speaking to me at the America Film Festival in Deauville, where she is collecting a lifetime achievement award.
2.2Solicit and receive (donations), especially for charity: collecting money for the war effort [no object]: we collected for the United Way
More example sentences
  • The funeral took place this morning at St Peter's Church in Mill Hill where donations were collected for MacMillan Nurses.
  • Thankfully a large sum of money has been collected for the Irish Wheelchair Association.
  • A nice website has been established in her memory and a charitable trust is collecting donations to support the kinds of causes for which she gave her life.
raise, appeal for, ask for, solicit;
obtain, acquire, gather
2.3Receive (money that is due); be paid: [with object]: they called to collect a debt [no object]: he’d come to collect
3 (collect oneself) Regain control of oneself, typically after a shock.
More example sentences
  • Cougre took the hint and collected herself, regaining her calm.
  • Everybody nearly jumped out of their skin as the voice suddenly spat out at us, and it took us a great while to collect ourselves from the shock.
  • He was silent for a short while, trying to regain his composure and collect himself.
recover, regain one's composure, pull oneself together, steady oneself
informal get a grip (on oneself)
3.1Bring together and concentrate (one’s thoughts).
More example sentences
  • I was met with great compassion and it was suggested that I go to my room, collect my thoughts and let them know what I wanted to do.
gather, summon (up), muster, get together, marshal
4 archaic Conclude; infer: by all best conjectures, I collect Thou art to be my fatal enemy
5Cause (a horse) to bring its hind legs further forward as it moves, thereby shortening the stride and increasing balance and impulsion.
More example sentences
  • This is an easy way to encourage the horse to collect as he halts which will be a paramount balance skill later on.
  • ‘I began learning our pocket going around barrels and how to rate and collect him, and he caught on fast’ says Harmon.

adverb & adjective

North American Back to top  
(With reference to a telephone call) to be paid for by the person receiving it: [as adverb]: I called my mother collect [as adjective]: a collect call
More example sentences
  • And Mother's Day is the second highest day for collect calls.
  • I cannot imagine the mindset of a man who thinks that a sex worker is going to take a collect call from anyone - let alone someone who's in jail.
  • Bart must apologize to Australia after he tricks a boy from down under into accepting an expensive collect call.


late Middle English: from Old French collecter or medieval Latin collectare, from Latin collect- 'gathered together', from the verb colligere, from col- 'together' + legere 'choose or collect'.

Definition of collect in:

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There are 2 main definitions of collect in English:


Syllabification: col·lect
Pronunciation: /ˈkälˌekt


(In church use) a short prayer, especially one assigned to a particular day or season.
More example sentences
  • However, a new type of short full anthem, often a setting of one of the seasonal collects, gained in popularity after about 1800.
  • This kind of evangelism is far more persuasive than simply publishing the world's best book of new collects, calls to worship, or Eucharistic prayers.
  • The Australian Prayer Book has a somewhat revised version of the collect found in the ASB 1980.


Middle English: from Old French collecte, from Latin collecta 'gathering', feminine past participle of colligere 'gather together' (see collect1).

Definition of collect in: