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.

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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 This is what made the Camp Fire of 2018 so deadly: Winds accelerated the conflagration through critically dry vegetation so quickly that many in the town of Paradise couldn’t escape. Matt Simon, Wired, "The Humble Shrub That’s Predicting a Terrible Fire Season," 15 Apr. 2021 For some, the worries are a vague sense of looming trouble that could take many forms — conflict at a polling place, protest over the outcome, protest over no outcome, a conflagration that splits Americans over now-familiar divisions. Laurie Kellman, Star Tribune, "Anxiety 2020: Voters worry about safety at the polls," 27 Oct. 2020 Exposure and risk, which occur on a spectrum, also go hand in hand; even the best inoculations will be of little use to people who choose to stroll straight into a viral conflagration. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, "Vaccine Cheat Days Are Adding Up," 4 Apr. 2021 But odds are that only increases the chance of a major conflagration later this year. Los Angeles Times, "Essential Politics: A Senate showdown builds as Biden takes a stand on filibusters and taxes," 19 Mar. 2021 The Hennessey Fire that didn’t look threatening at first quickly grew into a monster conflagration, blow-torching steep valleys and jagged ravines, and launching frantic evacuations. Chronicle Staff,, "California Wildfires: Live Updates Sept. 2-3," 7 Sep. 2020 The twin spats with Russia and China raise questions about whether Biden will seek to forge productive relationships with them, or whether confrontation and conflagration will be the new normal. John Hudson, Anchorage Daily News, "Analysis: Talks with China show U.S. ready for dust-up diplomacy," 20 Mar. 2021 Like dry brush in a hot summer, fuel for a conflagration in the U.S. Senate has piled up in the opening weeks of President Biden‘s administration. Los Angeles Times, "Essential Politics: A Senate showdown builds as Biden takes a stand on filibusters and taxes," 19 Mar. 2021 That picture sparked a brief online conflagration over inequality. New York Times, "When Influencers Make Fools of Themselves," 24 Feb. 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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Time Traveler for conflagration

Time Traveler

The first known use of conflagration was in 1600

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Statistics for conflagration

Last Updated

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Conflagration.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 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

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Comments on conflagration

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