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 During the campaign, Zelensky was happy for voters to conflate him with his television counterpart. Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, "How Trump’s Emissaries Put Pressure on Ukraine’s New President," 26 Oct. 2019 Some conflate this with the Big Bang of cosmic creation. Harish Pullanoor, Quartz India, "How the Indian icon Nataraja danced his way from ancient history to modern physics," 18 Dec. 2019 One possible result: Americans will be overwhelmed by all the details, conflate the 2016 Russian investigation with the 2019 Ukrainian investigation, and shrug it all off. Joe Garofoli,, "Here’s how impeachment poses a danger — to Democrats," 25 Sep. 2019 TikTok now appears sensitive about ensuring the two apps aren’t conflated with one another. Wired, "TikTok, Under Scrutiny, Distances Itself From China," 25 Oct. 2019 Zuhra said the issue was conflated with Christian outrage at the time over a national story about a prominent Muslim preacher, Abdul Somad, who likened the cross to the sign of the devil. Los Angeles Times, "A Christian community proud of its pork resists change to attract Muslim tourists," 9 Oct. 2019 Nevertheless, these terms are often conflated, said James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University. Elyssa Cherney,, "The same weekend as massacres in El Paso and Dayton, 15 people were shot in 2 Chicago incidents. Why aren’t those called mass shootings too?," 5 Aug. 2019 In the 18th century, civility and trade were often conflated, Mr. Thomas explains. Mark Archer, WSJ, "‘In Pursuit of Civility’ Review: Comity and Tragedy," 19 July 2018 Some media reports erroneously conflated the families ambushed on Monday with LeBaron's Church of the Firstborn, Rosetti said. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "For Mormon offshoot groups in Mexico, a history of family traditions — and violence," 6 Nov. 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of conflate was in 1610

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Statistics for conflate

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Conflate.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on conflate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for conflate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


to insert between existing elements

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