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 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).

Example Sentences

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 The Sand Dollar, a CBDC launched by the Bahamas in 2020, is struggling as residents conflate the central bank token with volatile cryptocurrencies, and the FTX debacle isn't helping. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, 17 Jan. 2023 And some just falsely conflate days off and laziness. Erin Strout, SELF, 29 Dec. 2022 What’s clear is that Fulton County continues to conflate gang activity with rap music and has not signaled a change in policy. Vulture, 15 Dec. 2022 Still, Michels’ campaign continues to conflate the two, which makes this claim way off base. Madeline Heim, Journal Sentinel, 8 Nov. 2022 Do not conflate the feeling of sadness with a desire to get him back. Meredith Goldstein,, 2 Dec. 2022 That information gap could send people to do their own sleuthing, using unofficial resources like Facebook groups or TikTok, where murky information in the influencer realm can falsely conflate cycle tracking with foolproof contraception. WIRED, 2 Nov. 2022 Centrists, who often conflate electoral and consumer choices, have critiqued policies aimed at reducing meat consumption as illiberal and undemocratic. Jan Dutkiewicz, The New Republic, 20 Oct. 2022 But do not conflate your valid concerns about the potential for his alcoholism to affect your daughter negatively with any license or duty to punish him for it. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, 16 Oct. 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.

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 31 Jan. 2023.

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