con·​fec·​tion kən-ˈfek-shən How to pronounce confection (audio)
: the act or process of confecting
: something confected: such as
: a fancy dish or sweetmeat
also : a sweet food
: a medicinal preparation usually made with sugar, syrup, or honey
: a work of fine or elaborate craftsmanship
: a light but entertaining theatrical, cinematic, or literary work

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A "confection" is "confected" from several different ingredients or elements. Most confections are sweet, but the word can also be used to refer to any finely worked piece of craftsmanship. In other words, the lacy box containing chocolate confections can be a confection itself. The verb "confect" (meaning "put together from varied material") comes from Latin confectus, the past participle of conficere, meaning "to prepare." "Conficere" joins the prefix con- with the common Latin verb facere, meaning "to make" or "to do." "Factory," "manufacture," and "benefactor" are among the many relations.

Example Sentences

an assortment of delicious cakes and other confections following the main course there were assorted confections so delicious-looking as to tempt even determined dieters
Recent Examples on the Web That’s a Lady Baltimore cake, an old-fashioned confection that deserves more play on dessert lists. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 17 May 2023 Halva, a Middle Eastern confection made with tahini, only calls for a handful of ingredients but requires precision for best results—so don’t skip the candy thermometer, work seamlessly between steps and take care not to overmix the halva before transferring to the pan. Joy Cho, Good Housekeeping, 16 May 2023 The Mockingbird & The Crow was released in January and is a loose concept album that splits its two sides between Hardy’s immaculate pop-country confections and brooding rock sounds. Jon Freeman, Rolling Stone, 12 May 2023 At the end of the six-episode season, winners from each of the previous five episodes will compete in the June 25 finale for a $100,000 prize and to have their winning confection join the menu at Magnolia’s Silos Baking Co. through Sept. 4. Mikey O'connell, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Apr. 2023 The confection is often colored pink, yellow, off-white, or in more contemporary spots, in fantastical unicorn pastels. Serena Maria Daniels, CNN, 23 Mar. 2023 Ina, known to most as the Barefoot Contessa, has included a cocoa-rich, birthday-worthy confection in every one of her dozen books, including her latest, Modern Comfort Food, which is a deep dive into the idea of cooking and eating as solace and joy. Jenny Comita, Better Homes & Gardens, 7 Oct. 2022 The company that makes donuts, cakes and other confections is adding six new ice cream sandwiches to its roster of products. Sam Burros, Peoplemag, 28 Apr. 2023 From the petals on the flowers cascading on the lavallier chain to the trellis holding the baroque pearl, each detail makes this confection a craft fanatic’s dream. Jennifer Jenkins,, 19 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'confection.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English confeccioun "preparation by mixing ingredients, something prepared by mixing, as a medicine or dish of food," borrowed from Anglo-French confectiun, confeccion, borrowed from Medieval Latin confectiōn-, confectiō, going back to Latin, "making ready for use, preparation," from conficere "to carry out, perform, make, bring about, collect, bring to completion" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at confect

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of confection was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near confection

Cite this Entry

“Confection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


con·​fec·​tion kən-ˈfek-shən How to pronounce confection (audio)
: a fancy dish or sweet

Middle English confectioun "mixture, candy," from early French confection "mixture," derived from Latin conficere "to prepare," from con-, com- "together" and -ficere, from facere "to make, do" — related to fashion

Medical Definition


con·​fec·​tion kən-ˈfek-shən How to pronounce confection (audio)
: a medicinal preparation usually made with sugar, syrup, or honey

called also electuary

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