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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Collect \Col*lect"\ (k[o^]l*l[e^]kt"), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Collected; p. pr. & vb. n. Collecting.] [L. collecrus, p. p. of collerige to bind together; col- + legere to gather: cf. OF. collecter. See Legend, and cf. Coil, v. t., Cull, v. t.]

  1. To gather into one body or place; to assemble or bring together; to obtain by gathering.

    A band of men Collected choicely from each country.

    'Tis memory alone that enriches the mind, by preserving what our labor and industry daily collect.

  2. To demand and obtain payment of, as an account, or other indebtedness; as, to collect taxes.

  3. To infer from observed facts; to conclude from premises. [Archaic.]

    Which sequence, I conceive, is very ill collected.

    To collect one's self, to recover from surprise, embarrassment, or fear; to regain self-control.

    Syn: To gather; assemble; congregate; muster; accumulate; garner; aggregate; amass; infer; deduce.


n. A hobby including seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, and maintaining whatever items are of interest to the individual collector. vb. (present participle of collect English)


n. the act of gathering something together [syn: collection, assembling, aggregation]


The hobby of collecting includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, and maintaining whatever items are of interest to the individual collector. The scope of collecting is unlimited: "If something exists, somebody somewhere collects them."

The most obvious way to categorise collections is by the type of objects collected. Most collections are of manufactured commercial items, but natural objects such as birds' eggs, butterflies, rocks, and seashells can also be the subject of a collection. Among collections of manufactured items, the objects may be antique, or simply collectible. Antiques are collectible items at least 100 years old, while collectibles can be arbitrarily recent. Collectors and dealers may use the word vintage to describe older collectibles. Items which were once everyday objects but may now be collectible since almost all those once produced have been destroyed or discarded are called Ephemera. Philately, phillumeny, and deltiology (collecting postage stamps, matchboxes and postcards) are forms of collecting which can be undertaken at minimal expense.

Some collectors are generalists with very broad criteria for inclusion, while others focus on a subtopic within their area of interest. Some collectors accumulate arbitrarily many objects that meet the thematic and quality requirements of their collection, others—called completists—aim to acquire all items in a well-defined set that can in principle be completed, and others seek a limited number of items per category (e.g. one representative item per year of manufacture or place of purchase). The monetary value of objects is important to some collectors but irrelevant to others. Some collectors maintain objects in pristine condition, while others use the items they collect, and still others collect items that once belonged to famous people.

Collecting is for some people a childhood hobby, but for others a lifelong pursuit or one that begins in adulthood. Collectors who begin early in life often modify their aims when they get older. Some novice collectors start purchasing items that appeal to them then slowly work at learning how to build a collection, while others prefer to develop some background in the field before starting to buy items.

The emergence of the internet as a global forum for different collectors has resulted in many isolated enthusiasts finding each other.

Usage examples of "collecting".

Tell him, at the same time, that I did not know the alcaide of Gibraltar was so vigilant in collecting his tolls.

They slogged back, collecting Amri, who was patiently waiting for them.

The separation is effected by distilling the substance with solution of ferric sulphate, and collecting the vapour in a dilute solution of sulphurous acid or arsenite of soda.

The result of this was that Louis XII, to whom runners had been sent by Trivulce, understanding his perilous position, hastened the departure of the French gendarmerie who were already collected to cross into Italy, sent off the bailiff of Dijon to levy new Swiss forces, and ordered Cardinal Amboise, his prime minister, to cross the Alps and take up a position at Asti, to hurry on the work of collecting the troops.

Ltd, Bungay, Suffolk The bees sustained flight, its powerful sting, its intimacy with flowers and avoidance of all unwholesome things, the attachment of the workers to the queen - regarded throughout antiquity as the king - its singular swarming habits and its astonishing industry in collecting and storing honey and skill in making wax.

He was collecting some very useful information, so Bergen had suffered a stroke once, so what.

Bongars, the faithful councillor and ambassador of Henri Quatre, was the owner of a remarkable library, consisting to a great extent of State papers and historical documents, which Bongars had special facilities for collecting during his official visits to Germany.

Such was the state of the conflict in the latter part of 1816, when San Martin, collecting the scattered bands of Chilian troops and adding them to men of his own command, got together a formidable array five thousand strong.

Even on the clearest night the keep looked haunted, collecting pockets of fog and throwing crooked shadows across the grounds.

In reconnoitring, in distributing proclamations, in collecting arms, in overawing outlying districts, weak columns must be used.

Financing a new railway usually ineant its promoters would set up secretly controlled construction companies, then negotiate inflated contracts with themselves, collecting hefty profits at both ends of each deal.

The Corfiote irregulars were collecting firewood while they watched the cave mouth.

Mistress Alys, you taken up collecting downcountry folk with hay in their hair?

The proper arrangement of these collecting drains requires more skill and experience than any other branch of the work, for on their disposition depends, in a great measure, the economy and success of the undertaking.

Where a ledge of shelving rock, of considerable size, occurs on land to be drained, it is best to make some provision for collecting, at its base, the water flowing over its surface, and taking it at once into the drains, so that it may not make the land near it unduly wet.