late 14c., "gatherer of taxes, etc.," from Anglo-French collectour "collector" (of money or taxes; Old French collector, Modern French collecteur), from Late Latin collector, agent noun from colligere "to gather together" (see collect). Meaning "one who collects objects of interest as a pursuit or amusement" is by 1774. Fem. form collectress is attested from 1825.
updated on January 20, 2018