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

transitive verb

: to bring together : blend
Even more often, outsiders conflate the couple, and credit them with each other's characteristics.Alison Lurie
This unsettling book—conflating journalism, personal reportage, sociology and philosophical inquiry …Rosemary Mahoney
: confuse
Given its name, St. Thomas in Houston has on occasion been conflated with St. Thomas in Minnesota …David Barron
: to combine (things, such as two versions of a text) into a composite whole
For there are two substantive texts, the quarto published in 1597 and the folio in 1623. Modern editions usually conflate the pair to produce what the editor judges to be the best and most plausible hybrid.Bill Overton

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-, meaning "with" or "together," with the Latin verb flare, which means "to blow" and is akin to English's 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 Meanwhile, some rank-and-file SJP members say their activism has been wrongly punished and incorrectly conflated with the national committee’s rhetoric. Daniel Arkin, NBC News, 24 Nov. 2023 Protesters seeking to speak against rising antisemitism worry about being conflated with hawkish supporters of Israeli’s military action. Lenora Chu, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 Nov. 2023 The concerns raised by law enforcement officials refer to a subsect of extremists known as Jihadist terrorists, a militant Islamic movement, not to be conflated with the Islamic religion. Josh Margolin, ABC News, 19 Oct. 2023 With the arrival of Christianity, some traditions between the religious holiday and the pagan festival became conflated (hence why Yuletide and Christmastime are often interchangeable terms in many languages). Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 28 Oct. 2023 Chatbot conflated average citizen with terrorist Battle sued Microsoft on behalf of both himself and his company, Battle Enterprises, representing himself and attempting to go up against Microsoft alone. Ashley Belanger, Ars Technica, 23 Oct. 2023 Waters has always rejected these accusations, largely on the grounds that anti-Zionism should not be conflated with antisemitism and that doing so is a way of stifling legitimate criticism of Israel and its treatment of Palestinians. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 7 Nov. 2023 Clausen believes the chart’s author conflated Ptolemy with a dynasty of Greek kings who had ruled Egypt. Hannah Fry, Los Angeles Times, 25 Oct. 2023 Conservatives are attempting to mislead the public by conflating diversity programs with affirmative action, Williams said. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, 8 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'conflate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1557, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of conflate was in 1557


Dictionary Entries Near conflate

Cite this Entry

“Conflate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

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