To bring together in a group or mass; gather. To accumulate as a hobby or for study. To call for and obtain payment of: collect taxes. To recover control of: collect one's emotions. To call for (someone); pick up: collected the children and drove home. To come together in a group or mass; gather. See Synonyms at gather. To take in payments or donations: collecting for charity. With payment to be made by the receiver: called collect; a collect phone call. Ecclesiastical A brief formal prayer that is used in various Western liturgies before the epistle and that varies with the day.