con·​fla·​gra·​tion | \ ˌkän-flə-ˈgrā-shən \

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


fire, holocaust, inferno

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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

Hot, dry weather, gusty winds and tinder-dry vegetation are the same conditions that caused wildfires in Northern California to explode into deadly conflagrations in the space of two weeks. Amanda Lee Myers, Fox News, "Flames inch close to California homes as thousands evacuate," 9 Aug. 2018 For him, America has endured two conflagrations already: the Civil War, in which the country burned literally, and the New Deal, in which the country was, in Mr. Fountain’s view, reinvented. Barton Swaim, WSJ, "Politics Books: The Fire This Time," 27 Sep. 2018 Humans are also igniting most of these conflagrations. Umair Irfan, Vox, "In Sweden, Latvia, and Greece, wildfires are spreading amid a brutal heat wave.," 25 July 2018 Imminent danger | Speeches and panel discussions at the Munich Security Conference over the weekend portrayed a world on the cusp of three potential conflagrations: in the Middle East, on the Korean peninsula and, in years to come, cyberspace., "Trump Blames FBI as Mueller Pushes Ahead," 19 Feb. 2018 Umair Irfan/Vox Residents lived uneasily for years knowing that a massive conflagration was possible. Umair Irfan, Vox, "The Paradise fire is catastrophic. And the wildfire threat to California is only growing.," 17 Nov. 2018 The letters document the loving bond between a father and daughter separated by 8,500 miles and a global conflagration of unimaginable chaos. Alex Kingsbury,, "You’ve got mail — for now," 10 May 2018 In a detailed report, the researchers found that chain reactions inside a cargo compartment could cause an out-of-control conflagration. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "No One is Fixing Flying's Fire Problem," 3 Aug. 2018 Polous, a shrimper and oysterman, lost 14 boats, his home and pickup trucks in the quick-moving conflagration Sunday that left behind a trail of ash and ruins in Eastpoint, just across the river from the historic town of Apalachicola. Brendan Farrington And Gary Fineout,, "'Controlled' blaze blamed for 36 destroyed homes," 28 June 2018

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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Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for conflagration

The first known use of conflagration was in 1600

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English Language Learners Definition of conflagration

: a large destructive fire

: a war or conflict


con·​fla·​gra·​tion | \ ˌkän-flə-ˈgrā-shən \

Kids Definition of conflagration

: a large destructive fire

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Comments on conflagration

What made you want to look up conflagration? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to settle judicially or to act as judge

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