con·​fla·​tion | \ kən-ˈflā-shən How to pronounce conflation (audio) \
plural conflations

Definition of conflation

: the action or result of conflating:
a(1) : blend, fusion What needs to be highlighted is the power that the state wields through conflations of people and place, and policies and programs.— Thomas Klak
(2) : confusion The conflation of lie and lay is an old problem and, admittedly, an understandable one.— Cullen Murphy Clearly the dominant American culture confuses us Mennonites with the Amish, who in fact began as an insurgent faction rebelling from the Mennonites. America's conflation is reasonable, since the Mennonites and the Amish have historically overlapped in many lifestyle choices.— Rhoda Janzen
b : a composite reading or text But this book is not simply a conflation of old dispatches from one of the world's forgotten trouble spots.— William Boyd

Examples of conflation in a Sentence

the word “robustious” is probably a conflation of “robust” and “boisterous”
Recent Examples on the Web This conflation of judge and policy-maker is, with respect, difficult to reconcile with the judicial function. Michael I. Krauss, Forbes, 18 May 2022 This conflation is what propelled the art dealers Vanessa Guo and Jean-Mathieu Martini to open Galerie Marguo in the fall of 2020. New York Times, 4 May 2022 The conflation of movement and meaning is deeply embedded in Western culture and in science. Lisa Feldman Barrett, Scientific American, 27 Apr. 2022 The worst part of this dynamic in Russian history is the conflation of the Russian state with a personal ruler. David Remnick, The New Yorker, 11 Mar. 2022 The special’s title is a reference to his real one, a conflation of two of the names of his grandfathers. New York Times, 1 Apr. 2022 Potholes are actually caused, for the most part, by the conflation of water absorption, freeze-thaw cycles, heat, and good old wear and tear, which makes every city, county, and state in America ripe for their development. al, 18 Feb. 2022 The conflation of foreign policy with a religious vocation is a recurring tendency in American history. Samuel Goldman, The Week, 27 Aug. 2021 The staging of her life on a remembered version of the Santa Barbara set conveys an entirely real conflation of reality. Jonathon Keats, Forbes, 6 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conflation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of conflation

1625, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of conflation was in 1625

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Last Updated

28 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Conflation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on conflation

Britannica English: Translation of conflation for Arabic Speakers


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