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

Definition of conflate

transitive verb

1a : to bring together : fuse
b : confuse
2 : to combine (things, such as two readings of a text) into a composite whole The editor conflated the two texts.

Keep scrolling for more

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 While the public is right to push back against the invasive and downright creepy new vaccine apps, the media must not conflate the technology with traditional vaccination registries, particularly for schools. Albert Fox Cahn, Wired, "Vaccine Registries Are Good, Vaccine Apps Are Invasive," 27 Apr. 2021 Or better yet, why not conflate billionaire business mogul with entertainer and call someone actually worth giving a platform to (read: someone check Steven Yeun's schedule). Natalie Morin,, "SNL Shouldn’t Be A Playground for Billionaires Like Elon Musk," 27 Apr. 2021 As Rankin tells National Geographic, the land overuse theory’s prevalence stems partly from Western-centric worldviews that conflate European colonizers’ exploitation of resources with Native American practices. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Did Cahokia, One of North America’s Largest Pre-Hispanic Cities, Collapse?," 17 Apr. 2021 That's an entirely different phenomenon, though many people conflate the two. Whitson Gordon, Wired, "I Use Motion Smoothing on My TV—and Maybe You Should Too," 6 Apr. 2021 To reach its contrary judgment, the majority must conflate a seizure with its attempt and confuse an arrest with a battery. Devin Dwyer, ABC News, "Supreme Court says police shootings are momentary 'seizures" under 4th Amendment," 25 Mar. 2021 The challenge for Democrats is how to explain the need to impeach Trump over this issue —Vietor acknowledged that some voters may conflate it with the Russia investigation. Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle, "'Ball has moved on impeachment,' says 'Pod Save America' co-host," 24 Sep. 2019 Republicans often conflate the Capitol riot with Black Lives Matter protests in D.C. and Portland. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, "A culture war has been brewing at the Capitol for years. Now it's at a boiling point.," 26 Feb. 2021 However, sponsors of the amendment appeared to conflate the concepts, arguing the index could lead to otherwise healthy and young individuals receiving vaccine doses ahead of older residents. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Senate bill strips race, wealth, other factors from COVID-19 vaccine distribution criteria," 24 Feb. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of conflate

1583, 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about conflate

Time Traveler for conflate

Time Traveler

The first known use of conflate was in 1583

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about conflate

Statistics for conflate

Last Updated

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Conflate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on conflate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for conflate

Britannica English: Translation of conflate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on conflate

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!