Printable Version
Pronunciation: kê-lud Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, intransitive

Meaning: To cooperate in a secret or unlawful way.

Notes: The noun for this word is collusion, a word the current (2018) American president utters several times every day. It belongs to a lexical family consisting of two adjective, collusive, and the slightly outdated collusory. Someone who colludes may be called a colluder or collusioner.

In Play: This word is right at home in business: "You would think the owners of gas stations were colluding, given consistency of gasoline prices in town." It is just as comfortable in politics: "There were rumors during the Kennedy administration that the government was colluding with the Mafia to poison Fidel Castro's cigars."

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from the French version of Latin colludere "to play together". This verb comprises an assimilated form of com "with, together" + ludere "to play", also underlying the Latinate borrowing ludicrous. The verb is based on ludus "a game, play" from the Proto-Indo-European root leid-/loid- "to play", literally "to let go". It is also the source of Greek lindesthai "to contend" and lizei "plays", Albanian lind "gives birth" (Albanians consider this playful?), Lithuanian leisti "to let" and laidyti "to throw, hurl, cast", and Latvian laist "let go, move".

Dr. Goodword,

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