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conspiracy (n.)

14世纪中叶, “邪恶的阴谋, 非法的设计; 为了邪恶的目的而联合起来的人”, 来自英法 conspiracie, 古法语 conspiracie “阴谋, 阴谋”, 来自拉丁语 conspirationem (名词 conspiratio) “协议, 联合, 一致”, 行动的名词, 来自 conspirare 的过去分词干“同意, 联合, 阴谋”, 字面意思是“一起呼吸” (见 conspire).

更早的同义词是 conspiration (14世纪初), 来自法语 conspiration (13世纪), 来自拉丁语 conspirationem. 古英语的一个词是 facengecwis.

Conspiracy theory “对一个事件或情况的解释, 涉及无端相信它是由强大势力之间的阴谋造成的” 出现在20世纪中叶(到1937年), 在查尔斯-比尔德, 霍夫斯塔德, 维布伦等人的著作中或关于查尔斯-比尔德的著作中都有它的身影, 但每一次使用中所隐含的偏执和不合理的程度并不总是容易辨别. 这句话从19世纪开始就在非贬义的意义上使用“存在(某种) 阴谋的理论”, 特别是在法庭案件中使用. 到1871年, 该词被用于泛指隐藏在国家或全球事件幕后拉线的阴谋理论.

We shall better understand the ensuing civil war if we study the movements in the four most important of these States, in relation to a theory which asserts that the secession was a conspiracy whose central cabal, composed of Southern senators and representatives in Washington, dictated through its ramifications in the States the inception and the course of the revolution. [James Ford Rhodes, page headed “The Conspiracy Theory” in “History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850,” New York, 1893]

To the Jingo Imperialist “the South African Conspiracy” is the alleged Dutch conspiracy to drive the British into the sea. But, to the man accustomed to weigh evidence and to base his opinions on ascertained facts, it is clear that this conspiracy theory is absolutely untenable, for whatever “evidence” has been adduced in support of the theory is nebulous and shadowy in the extreme. [“The South African Conspiracy,” in The Westminster Review, January 1902]

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Definitions of conspiracy from WordNet

conspiracy (n.)
a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act;
Synonyms: confederacy
conspiracy (n.)
a plot to carry out some harmful or illegal act (especially a political plot);
Synonyms: cabal
conspiracy (n.)
a group of conspirators banded together to achieve some harmful or illegal purpose;
Synonyms: confederacy
From wordnet.princeton.edu