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

Definition of conflate

transitive verb

1a : 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
b : confuse Given its name, St. Thomas in Houston has on occasion been conflated with St. Thomas in Minnesota …— David Barron
2 : 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 Many of us conflate the two, and that stops us from having conversations that are uncomfortable but are generally safe. Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2022 Those claims appeared to conflate details from a 2013 report about the unrelated death of a 20-year-old in California with the same name. Michael Balsamo,, 28 June 2022 Some still exist; however, investors are wrong to conflate small, non-scalable tech businesses with the large innovative platforms. Jon Markman, Forbes, 17 June 2022 These societal pressures to conflate self-worth and productivity is a product of capitalism. Nayanika Guha,, 6 Apr. 2022 The villagers' instinct to conflate modern materials and notions of progress is something that the architect has encountered throughout his career. CNN, 15 Mar. 2022 Don’t conflate giving up your body on the court with a selfless, self-effacing demeanor. Globe Staff,, 21 June 2022 Many people conflate the concepts of perfectionism with someone who simply has a high attention to detail. Danielle Cheek, Forbes, 21 June 2022 These categories are easy to conflate with racial categories. Anna C. F. Lewis, STAT, 4 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of conflate

1557, 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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The first known use of conflate was in 1557

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Last Updated

19 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Conflate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on conflate

Britannica English: Translation of conflate for Arabic Speakers


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