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The Oxford English Dictionary defines conspiracy theory as “the theory that an event or phenomenon occurs as a result of a conspiracy between interested parties; spec. a belief that some covert but influential agency (typically political in motivation and oppressive in intent) is responsible for an unexplained event”. It cites a 1909 article in The American Historical Review as the earliest usage example, although it also appears in journals as early as April 1870. The word “conspiracy” derives from the Latin con- (“with, together”) and spirare (“to breathe”).