: a secret plan made by two or more people to do something that is harmful or illegal
Full Definition of CONSPIRACY
2a : an agreement among conspirators
Examples of CONSPIRACY
- The CIA uncovered a conspiracy against the government.
- They were accused of conspiracy to commit murder.
Origin of CONSPIRACY
Middle English conspiracie, from Latin conspirare
noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
Agreement between two or more persons to commit an unlawful act or to accomplish a lawful end by unlawful means. Some U.S. states require an overt act in addition to the agreement to constitute conspiracy. Individual conspirators need not even know of the existence or the identity of all other conspirators. In a chain conspiracy the parties act separately and successively (as in distributing narcotics). A civil conspiracy is not prosecuted as a crime but forms the grounds for a lawsuit. In antitrust law, conspiracies in restraint of trade (e.g., price fixing) are rigorously prosecuted. In the U.S. it is common to punish a conspiracy to commit an offense more harshly than the offense itself, but there has been a growing trend to follow the European example and make the punishment for conspiracy the same as or less than that for the offense itself.
: to secretly plan with someone to do something that is harmful or illegal
Full Definition of CONSPIRE
1a : to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or an act which becomes unlawful as a result of the secret agreement <accused of conspiring to overthrow the government>
Examples of CONSPIRE
- <conspired to replace the leader with someone more easily influenced>
- <foul weather and airline foul-ups seemed to be conspiring to ruin our vacation>
Origin of CONSPIRE
Middle English, from Anglo-French conspirer, from Latin conspirare to be in harmony, conspire, from com- + spirare to breathe