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 comes from conflatus, a form 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, meaning “to blow.” Blow’s ancestor, the Old English word blāwan, shares an ancestor with flare. When two or more things are conflated, they are figuratively “blown together” either by someone’s confusion or ingenuity. Other descendants of flare in English include flavor, inflate, and, well, flatulent.

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 Not to conflate being nonbinary with being gay, but has Montero’s approach and attitude in any way offered a blueprint for you? John Norris, Billboard, 14 June 2024 The most fundamental challenge, however, is that the CCP persistently conflates industrial policy with innovation, which are not the same thing. George Magnus, Foreign Affairs, 29 May 2024 To allow these two to be conflated is to lose the fight, as the EU is currently doing. Jan Dutkiewicz, Vox, 2 May 2024 To define Israel’s disproportionate, barbaric, unjustified and indiscriminate bombing of civilians in Gaza as a genocide detracts from the enormity of what Nazi Germany did to 6 million Jews and, in too many cases, has given cover to many antisemites who conflate Zionism with Nazism. Voice Of The People, New York Daily News, 24 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for conflate 

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 23 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


conflated; conflating
: to bring together : blend
conflate history and fiction

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