: a coming or flowing together, meeting, or gathering at one point
At the confluence of Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo cultures, Santa Fe is the symbolic heart of the Southwest.Jeffrey Steingarten
A hip urban confluence of tasting rooms, galleries, and surfboard designers, it's a place where wine, art and beach culture coalesce.Wine Enthusiast Magazine
Every once in a while in pop music there is a magical confluence: the right performers doing the right music with the right support.Ralph Novak
Italian influences have marked not only the style of architecture in Passau but also the way of life. Then, of course, Eastern Europe is next door. There are many confluences, it seems.N. Scott Momaday
: the flowing together of two or more streams
A complex lacework of waterways formed by the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, the delta is the state's major water source …Robert B. Gunnison
Confluences are a basic building block of river networks on all scales.Chris Paola
: the place of meeting of two streams
… quaint Carbondale is set at the confluence of the Crystal and Roaring Fork Rivers.National Geographic
: the stream or body formed by the junction of two or more streams : a combined flood
… and eventually chose, disastrously, the only place in Assam where it was impossible for tea to thrive, being regularly drowned by the confluence of two huge rivers, a more suitable terrain for rice.Christian Lamb
or confluency cell biology : the degree of substrate coverage that is exhibited by proliferating, adherent cells cultured in a laboratory vessel (such as a petri dish or flask)
At days 12-14, cell confluence reached 80%.Runguang Li et al.
The measurement of cell confluency is used to determine the growth phase of cells …Mee Foong et al.
also : complete coverage of a culture substrate by proliferating, adherent cells
When the cells reach confluence, they form aggregates and can be serially cultured. C. A. B. Jahoda et al.
Replicate dishes of pooled cells were grown to confluency and induced with Newcastle disease virus … Hermann Ragg and Charles Weissmann

Did you know?

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 Northland store was an original anchor tenant at Tiffany Springs when that development debuted in 2008 at the confluence of Interstate 29 and Missouri 152 Highway. David Hudnall, Kansas City Star, 7 Feb. 2024 Advertisement The fan had caught Porter at the confluence of her dueling lives — as a single mother to three and a social media superstar Senate candidate. Benjamin Oreskes, Los Angeles Times, 2 Feb. 2024 Columbia, South Carolina Columbia is located at the confluence of the Broad, Congaree, and Saluda rivers. Robert Annis, Travel + Leisure, 2 Feb. 2024 In the end, the expedition gets to the launch site on the Bruneau downstream from the confluence of the Jarbidge and West Fork of the Bruneau rivers. Pete Zimowsky, Idaho Statesman, 31 Jan. 2024 Jen Perez woke up on Wednesday morning to a perfect confluence of events — a night of heavy rains and high tide coming in just when her kids had to go to school. Clio Chang, Curbed, 11 Jan. 2024 Reductions take a confluence of elements working together. Darcy Costello, Baltimore Sun, 1 Jan. 2024 At the confluence of two rivers near the Guadarrama mountains in Spain is Alcázar de Segovia, one of the country's most distinctive medieval castles. Steven Casale, Travel + Leisure, 31 Jan. 2024 One hot day in November 2017, Hasani Carter, a genealogist and middle school science teacher from Columbus, Ohio, walked the dusty path to the confluence of the Ezu and Omambala Rivers just outside of Aguleri, a village in southeastern Nigeria. Rosalind Cummings-Yeates, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'confluence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see confluent entry 1

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near confluence

Cite this Entry

“Confluence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a coming together to one place
: a flowing together or place of meeting especially of streams

More from Merriam-Webster on confluence

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