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conspire

Syllabification: con·spire
Pronunciation: /kənˈspī(ə)r
 
/

Definition of conspire in English:

verb

[no object]
1Make secret plans jointly to commit an unlawful or harmful act: they conspired against him they deny conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service
More example sentences
  • They didn't lose their case because everyone conspired against them.
  • This type of public affirmation of the underdog was partly why his enemies conspired against him.
  • Before he died, he believed that his doctors had conspired against him.
Synonyms
plot, scheme, plan, intrigue, machinate, collude, connive, collaborate, work hand in glove
informal be in cahoots
1.1(Of events or circumstances) seem to be working together to bring about a particular result, typically to someone’s detriment: everything conspires to exacerbate the situation
More example sentences
  • The circumstances conspire to make a sexual relation or a future together impossible.
  • As the scenery switches from Argentina to Chile to Colombia, events conspire to change our hero, as we know they will.
  • Each character is linked by more than just work, as hold-ups, corpses, missing children, affairs and other events conspire to alter their lives.
Synonyms
act together, work together, combine, unite, join forces
informal gang up

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French conspirer, from Latin conspirare 'agree, plot', from con- 'together with' + spirare 'breathe'.

More
  • spirit from (Middle English):

    Our word spirit is based on Latin spiritus ‘breath or spirit’, from spirare ‘to breathe’—the ancient Romans believed that the human soul had been ‘breathed’ into the body—the image is the same as ‘the breath of life’. The sense ‘strong distilled alcoholic drink’ comes from the use in alchemy of spirit to mean ‘a liquid essence extracted from some substance’. People sometimes say the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak when they have good intentions but yield to temptation and fail to live up to them. The source is the New Testament, where Jesus uses the phrase after finding his disciples asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane despite telling them that they should stay awake. Spirare forms the basis of numerous English words including aspire (mid 16th century) from adspirare ‘to breath upon, seek to reach’; conspire (Late Middle English) from conspirare ‘to breath together, agree’; expire (late 16th century) ‘to breath out’; inspire (Late Middle English) ‘breath into’ from the idea that a divine or outside power has inspired you; and perspire (mid 17th century) ‘to breath through’; and transpire (Late Middle English) ‘breath across. In English spirit was shortened to sprite (Middle English) which in turn developed sprightly (late 16th century).

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