conflate

verb
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. … a city of conflated races and cultures …— Earl Shorris

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

Trump isn’t alone in conflating the trade war with technology. Tim Culpan, latimes.com, "Easing Huawei restrictions may help trade, but won’t stop the China tech battle," 1 July 2019 In a state where Mexican indigenous identity is often conflated with being Guatemalan, many Chiapas peasants fear that more checkpoints will mean more abuses, constrained mobility and possibly detention. Washington Post, "Adding troops at Mexico’s border with Guatemala won’t block migrants from coming to the U.S. Here’s why.," 19 June 2019 Liberals love to conflate corporate welfare with capitalism, and these kinds of deals help promote their narrative that the American economic and political systems are rigged. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Amazon Escapes From New York," 14 Feb. 2019 Ferry and his bandmates were cast as dilettantes rather than dues-paying musicians, who conflated songs with showmanship, art with artifice. Greg Kot, chicagotribune.com, "Roxy Music: Still mind-blowing, still overlooked," 22 Feb. 2018 In the political and popular vernacular, collusion has been incorrectly conflated with its legal equivalent: criminal conspiracy. Ben Bradlee Jr., The New Yorker, "How Collusion Confusion Helps Trump," 12 June 2019 As wage slavery was conflated with an emerging trope of white slavery, bondage was rewritten as a universal condition. Sarah Churchwell, The New York Review of Books, "‘The Lehman Trilogy’ and Wall Street’s Debt to Slavery," 11 June 2019 In the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, analysts often conflated the working class with those who don't have a college degree. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "The teacher boycotts are a reminder of what Americans often get wrong about ‘class’," 5 Apr. 2018 Suggesting that expert medical care leads to good health outcomes conflates the two. Leila Atassi, cleveland.com, "MetroHealth CEO Dr. Akram Boutros calls citizens to join Open Table, support programs to reverse effects of trauma and structural racism on public health," 7 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about conflate

Listen to Our Podcast about conflate

Statistics for conflate

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conflate

The first known use of conflate was in 1610

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on conflate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).

WORD OF THE DAY

food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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