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


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

Advertising Both Netanyahu and Hamas are in difficult situations, and neither side would seem to have an interest in a major conflagration. Isabel Debre, The Seattle Times, "Israel bombs targets in Gaza as rocket fire resumes," 27 Mar. 2019 Investors will suffer significant losses if state investigators determine that PG&E was responsible for the November conflagration. Nicole Friedman, WSJ, "The Bond That Could Be Wiped Out by California’s Wildfires," 5 Dec. 2018 Active fire suppression tactics have also prevented smaller fires from burning, allowing fuel to accumulate and drive surging conflagrations. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Deadly wildfires are still threatening Northern and Southern California," 12 Nov. 2018 Gadi Eizenkot said Tuesday evening that the Israeli operation had been planned since Nov. 7, before the latest conflagration between Hamas and Israel. Felicia Schwartz, WSJ, "Israel Launches Operation to Destroy Hezbollah Tunnels," 4 Dec. 2018 Of course, there are many other analysts — including senior military officials — who are relieved that Trump chose restraint over a potential conflagration. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "The many things Trump didn’t accomplish in the latest Syria strike," 16 Apr. 2018 The danger of patriotism veering into nationalism is real in this conflagration that has become deeply and completely political. Kevin Williams,, "Sorry, George McCaskey, but NFL anthem policy anything but 'unifying'," 7 June 2018 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

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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Statistics for conflagration

Last Updated

20 May 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 How to pronounce conflagration (audio) \

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).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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