con·​flate | \ kən-ˈflāt How to pronounce conflate (audio) \
conflated; conflating

Definition of conflate

transitive verb

1a : to bring together : fuse
2 : to combine (things, such as two readings of a text) into a composite whole The editor conflated the two texts. … a city of conflated races and cultures …— Earl Shorris

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Did You Know?

We're not just blowing hot air when we tell you that conflate can actually be traced back to the same roots as the English verb blow. Conflate derives from conflatus, the past participle of the Latin verb conflare ("to blow together, to fuse"), which was formed by combining the prefix com- with the verb flare, meaning "to blow." The source of Latin flare is the same ancient root word that gave us blow. Other descendants of flare in English include afflatus ("a divine imparting of knowledge or power"), inflate, insufflation ("an act of blowing"), and flageolet (a kind of small flute-the flageolet referring to a green kidney bean is unrelated).

Examples of conflate in a Sentence

be careful not to conflate gossip with real news the movie conflates documentary footage and dramatized reenactments so seamlessly and ingeniously that viewers may not know what is real and what is not
Recent Examples on the Web According to Kolar, people sometimes conflate inadequate apparel with a distaste for winter activities. cleveland, "Embrace the snow: Winter fun awaits just east of the city," 29 Dec. 2020 For example, happiness surveys conflate hedonia (feeling good) and eudaemonia (purpose in life). Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, "How (And Why) to Measure Your Own Happiness," 3 Dec. 2020 Of course, healthy relationships are built on healthy boundaries, but some people mistakenly conflate love with not needing to have boundaries. Lori Gottlieb, The Atlantic, "Dear Therapist: My In-Laws Are Driving Me Nuts," 9 Nov. 2020 In Western countries, borscht came to be viewed as Russian in part because of the tendency for many decades to conflate Russia, which was only one of the Soviet republics, with all things Soviet. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, "A New Front Opens in the Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Borscht," 4 Nov. 2020 On Thursday, the liberal non-profit Media Matters reported that Owens said Democrats often conflate the QAnon conspiracy theory network with child trafficking. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "Supreme Court won't expedite review of Pennsylvania mail ballot extension," 28 Oct. 2020 Many in Hoyt Lakes conflate their frustrations about the state DFL with the national Democratic Party. Katie Galioto, Star Tribune, "Despite political spotlight, Iron Range town still waiting for economic spark," 25 Oct. 2020 The mistake that too many fans make is to conflate business with character. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "The Dak Prescott injury, and the mistake too many fans make in the aftermath," 12 Oct. 2020 That echo allows the mind to conflate movement and contagion and to interpret those specks of color as an infected person—who may be getting on a plane and landing in a city near you. Heather Houser, The New York Review of Books, "The Covid-19 ‘Infowhelm’," 6 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conflate.' 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 conflate

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for conflate

Latin conflatus, past participle of conflare to blow together, fuse, from com- + flare to blow — more at blow

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Time Traveler for conflate

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The first known use of conflate was in 1610

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Statistics for conflate

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Conflate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on conflate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for conflate

Britannica English: Translation of conflate for Arabic Speakers

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