con·​flu·​ence | \ ˈkän-ˌflü-ən(t)s How to pronounce confluence (audio) , kən-ˈflü- How to pronounce confluence (audio) \

Definition of confluence

1 : a coming or flowing together, meeting, or gathering at one point a happy confluence of weather and scenery a confluence of cultures
2a : the flowing together of two or more streams
b : the place of meeting of two streams the Mississippi River's confluence with the Missouri River
c : the combined stream formed by conjunction

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Synonyms & Antonyms for confluence



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The joining of rivers—as at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, where the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers flow together spectacularly—was the original meaning of confluence, and in its later meanings we still hear a strong echo of the physical merging of waters. So today we can speak of a confluence of events, a confluence of interests, a confluence of cultures, and so on, from which something important often emerges.

Examples of confluence in a Sentence

the Mississippi River's confluence with the Missouri River a happy confluence of beautiful weather and spectacular scenery during our vacation
Recent Examples on the Web The seething mass of 15.35 million people straddling the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers boasted 2.58 million surveillance cameras in 2019, according to an analysis published in August by the tech-research website Comparitech. Charlie Campbell, Time, "'The Entire System Is Designed to Suppress Us.' What the Chinese Surveillance State Means for the Rest of the World," 21 Nov. 2019 The restaurant will be located right near the confluence of Interstate 25 and C-470, which will give it a regional pull well beyond Douglas County. John Aguilar, The Denver Post, "In-N-Out Burger expects its Lone Tree restaurant to be so busy its drive-thru lane will be able to fit 26 cars," 19 Nov. 2019 The current profit bonanza arises from a confluence of extraordinary factors. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "The S&P 500 May Be Due For a 25% Correction, According to Historical Data," 13 Nov. 2019 The study found that the 6 p.m. hour - a confluence of rush hour and sunset in many parts of the country - was the deadliest time for trick-or-treaters to be on the road. al, "Halloween is the deadliest day for kids walking in the road," 28 Oct. 2019 The project is likely to force the city to consider altering the often confusing confluence of Main Street and Wethersfield Avenue at Barnard Park, difficult for motor vehicles to navigate and pedestrian to cross. Kenneth R. Gosselin,, "Eyed as the southern gateway to downtown Hartford, a $26M redevelopment at Park and Main is adding more rentals," 23 Oct. 2019 Where to eat The proximity of river, sea, and field, and the confluence of European and Caribbean cooking traditions, seem to set the whole city before you like a banquet. Timothy O'grady, Condé Nast Traveler, "In New Orleans, Life Is at Full Blast," 14 Oct. 2019 And a confluence of events could depress ratings further, after last year's telecast on NBC posted a record-low 10.2 million viewers, per Nielsen data. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Emmy predictions: Big names, nostalgia and low ratings," 20 Sep. 2019 The bakery’s defamation lawsuit resulted from a confluence of events that started in November 2016 after a student shoplifted from the bakery. Phillip Morris,, "Oberlin College protest farce comes with a heavy cost: Phillip Morris," 26 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'confluence.' 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 confluence

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for confluence

see confluent entry 1

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Time Traveler for confluence

Time Traveler

The first known use of confluence was in the 15th century

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Statistics for confluence

Last Updated

25 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Confluence.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 5 December 2019.

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More Definitions for confluence


How to pronounce confluence (audio) How to pronounce confluence (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of confluence

technical : a place where two rivers or streams join to become one
somewhat formal : a situation in which two things come together or happen at the same time

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