con·​fla·​gra·​tion | \ ˌkän-flə-ˈgrā-shən How to pronounce conflagration (audio) \

Definition of conflagration

1 : fire especially : a large disastrous fire The conflagration destroyed the warehouses.
2 : conflict, war The conflagration between the two countries lasted for ten years.

Synonyms for conflagration


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Examples of conflagration in a Sentence

The treaty is the latest attempt to resolve the ten-year conflagration. the historic tavern burned to the ground in a horrible conflagration
Recent Examples on the Web Earlier this year, Moody’s further upgraded the bonds to Ba2 after the town received $270 million from Pacific Gas & Electric, whose power lines were blamed for the conflagration. Marc Joffe, National Review, 2 Nov. 2021 The conflagration has forced 2,000 people to evacuate and is threatening 5,000 buildings, including homes and smaller structures in a rural area just north of the California border, Krake said. CBS News, 17 July 2021 The island’s fate has the potential to reshape the regional order and even to ignite a military conflagration — intentional or not. New York Times, 9 Oct. 2021 The most famous conflagration, the great Chicago fire, began Oct. 8 and claimed about 300 lives while destroying over three square miles of the city and more than 17,000 buildings. San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Oct. 2021 At the same time, lawmakers are pushing a raft of bills meant to restrict the rights of transgender students — the focus of a second, ongoing national conflagration. Washington Post, 1 July 2021 These specialists don’t fight fires head-on, but instead work around the edges of a conflagration to reduce the likelihood of certain homes and businesses burning. Kellie Hwang, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 Sep. 2021 That was on May 27, just a few days after Floyd’s murder, and rage over both cases merged into a conflagration of protests across San Diego County. Erika D. Smith Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 25 May 2021 Their relationship to a global conflagration was also very important. Vincent Bevins, The Atlantic, 29 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conflagration.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of conflagration

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for conflagration

Latin conflagration-, conflagratio, from conflagrare — see conflagrant

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The first known use of conflagration was in 1600

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Last Updated

4 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Conflagration.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for conflagration



English Language Learners Definition of conflagration

: a large destructive fire
: a war or conflict


con·​fla·​gra·​tion | \ ˌkän-flə-ˈgrā-shən How to pronounce conflagration (audio) \

Kids Definition of conflagration

: a large destructive fire

More from Merriam-Webster on conflagration

Nglish: Translation of conflagration for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of conflagration for Arabic Speakers


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