Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1500-1600
Language: Latin
Origin: , past participle of colligere, from com- ( COM-) + legere 'to gather'

collect

1 verb
     
col‧lect1 S1 W2
1

bring together

[transitive] to get things of the same type from different places and bring them together [↪ collection, collector]:
After 25 years of collecting recipes, she has compiled them into a cookbook.
The company collects information about consumer trends.
We've been out collecting signatures for our petition.
2

keep objects

[transitive] to get and keep objects of the same type, because you think they are attractive or interesting [↪ collection, collector]:
Arlene collects teddy bears.
3

rent/debts/taxes

[transitive] to get money that you are owed [↪ collector]
collect tax/rent/a debt
The landlady came around once a month to collect the rent.
4

money to help people

[intransitive and transitive] to ask people to give you money or goods for an organization that helps people
collect for
I'm collecting for Children in Need.
5

increase in amount

[intransitive and transitive] if something collects in a place, or you collect it there, it gradually increases in amount:
Rain collected in pools on the road.
solar panels for collecting energy from the sun
I didn't know what to do with it, so it just sat there collecting dust.
6

win something

[transitive] to receive something because you have won a race, game etc:
Redgrave collected his fifth Olympic gold medal in Sydney.
7

collect yourself/collect your thoughts

to make an effort to remain calm and think clearly and carefully about something:
I got there early so I had a few minutes to collect my thoughts before the meeting began.
8

take somebody/something from a place

[transitive] especially British English to come to a particular place in order to take someone or something away [= pick up American English]
Martin's gone to collect the children from school.
I've got to go and collect the book I ordered from the library.
9

crowd

[intransitive] formal to come together gradually to form a group of people:
A crowd was beginning to collect around the scene of the accident.

collect something ↔ up

phrasal verb
to pick up several things, and put them together:
Can you collect up all the dirty plates and cups?

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