late 14c., "action of collecting, practice of gathering together," from Old French collection (14c.), from Latin collectionem (nominative collectio) "a gathering together," noun of action from past-participle stem of colligere "gather together" (see collect).
Especially of money gathered for religious or charitable purposes from 1530s. Meaning "a group of objects viewed as a whole" is from c. 1400; sense of "an assemblage of gathered objects" is from mid-15c. Meaning "act of receiving or compelling payment of money owed" is from 1650s.