A syndicate is a group of corporations working for a common interest. A syndicate might collectively raise money for a real estate project. A syndicate sometimes has a criminal side — it can also describe a similar alliance of gangsters.
Syndicate entered English in the 17th century from the French word syndicat, meaning "representative of a corporation." The Lloyd's of London insurance group is an early example of a syndicate. Syndicate can also describe an agency that sells the rights to copyrighted material, such as feature articles, to newspapers or magazines. The word has a verb form as well. If you work for a syndicate, you might syndicate the classic "Peanuts" cartoon strip in hundreds of newspapers around the world.