American English

Definition of collect verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they collect
    he / she / it collects
    past simple collected
    -ing form collecting
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    bring together
  1. 1[transitive] to bring things together from different people or places synonym gather collect something to collect data/evidence/information We're collecting signatures for a petition. collect something from somebody/something Samples were collected from over 200 patients.
  2. as hobby
  3. 2[transitive] collect something to buy or find things of a particular type and keep them as a hobby to collect stamps/postcards, etc. see also stamp collecting
  4. of people
  5. 3[intransitive] to come together in one place to form a larger group synonym gather A crowd began to collect in front of the embassy.
  6. increase in amount
  7. 4[intransitive, transitive] to gradually increase in amount in a place; to gradually obtain more and more of something in a place synonym accumulate Dirt had collected in the corners of the room. collect something We seem to have collected an enormous number of boxes (= without intending to). That guitar's been sitting collecting dust (= not being used) for years now. It's amazing how she collects friends.
  8. money
  9. 5[intransitive, transitive] to ask people to give you money for a particular purpose collect (for something) We're collecting for local charities. collect something (for something) We collected over $300 for the fund-raising drive.
  10. 6[transitive] collect something to obtain the money, etc. that someone owes, for example by going to their house to get it to collect rent/debts/tax
  11. receive/win
  12. 7to receive something; to win something [transitive, intransitive] collect (something) She collected $25,000 in compensation. to collect a prize/a medal She collected $50,000 on her husband's life insurance policies.
  13. Thesauruscollectgather accumulate amassThese words all mean to get more of something over a period of time, or to increase in quantity over a period of time.collect to bring things or information together from different people or places; to gradually increase in amount in a place:We've been collecting data from various sources. Dirt had collected in the corners of the room. People sometimes collect things of a particular type as a hobby:to collect stampsgather to bring things together that have been spread around; to collect information from different sources:I waited while he gathered up his papers. Detectives have spent months gathering evidence.collect or gather?Both collect and gather can be used in the same way to talk about bringing together data, information, or evidence. When talking about things, gather is used with words like things, belongings, or papers when the things are spread around within a short distance. Collect is used for getting examples of something from different people or places that are physically separated.accumulate (somewhat formal) to gradually get more and more of something over a period of time; to gradually increase in number or quantity over a period of time :I seem to have accumulated a lot of books. Debts began to accumulate.amass (somewhat formal) to collect something in large quantities, especially money, debts, or information:He amassed a fortune from silver mining.Patterns to collect/gather/accumulate/amass data/evidence/information to accumulate/amass a fortune/debts dirt/dust/debris collects/accumulates to gradually/slowly collect/gather/accumulate (something)Idioms
      collect yourself/your thoughts
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    1. 1to try to control your emotions and become calm I'm fine—I just need a minute to collect myself.
    2. 2to prepare yourself mentally for something She paused to collect her thoughts before entering the interview room.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: collect

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