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.

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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 To conflate the practice with the treatment of an actual medical condition, practitioners often refer to conversion therapy by other names, notes GLAAD. Lauren Krouse,, 7 Sep. 2021 Many of us also unhelpfully conflate our self-worth with our career. David G. Allan, CNN, 6 Sep. 2021 Those two programs, and how quickly the Fed unwinds them, are unrelated, but the concern is that Wall Street will conflate the two — or that Powell will say something that joins together their respective fates. NBC News, 8 Aug. 2021 Cubbage said sometimes people conflate trauma with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which has its own clinical definition and outlines clusters of specific symptoms. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, 10 June 2021 Subodh Chandra, the lawyer for the Citizens for a Safer Cleveland ballot initiative, said that Kucinich and other critics are trying to conflate two separate issues. Washington Post, 8 Aug. 2021 Since Hungary’s law, which appears to conflate LGBTQ issues with pedophilia, passed in the country’s Parliament on June 15, international pressure on the European Union to take action has mounted. NBC News, 16 July 2021 The political debate also tends to conflate health care technology and health care. James Breiding, Scientific American, 16 June 2021 The public shouldn’t conflate an emergency declaration with orders issued earlier in the pandemic that closed businesses, Harris said. Skyler Swisher,, 15 Aug. 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for conflate

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The first known use of conflate was in 1583

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Last Updated

12 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Conflate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on conflate

Britannica English: Translation of conflate for Arabic Speakers


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