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


conjunction, convergence, convergency, meeting



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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 Starlight Musicals, sponsored by Bank of America, take place 7-10 p.m. each Friday through Aug. 9 at Holiday Park, located at the confluence of Sunrise Boulevard and Federal Highway. Ben Crandell,, "Starlight Musicals in Fort Lauderdale: Here’s who is playing free summer concerts in Holiday Park," 3 June 2019 For those who’ve witnessed the way Wizkid’s style has impacted global music and culture from Lagos to London, the possibility of a major confluence of trap and beats can only mean one thing: America, there’s a new Starboy in town. Edwin Houghton, Vogue, "Wizkid, the Afropop Sensation, Unveils a Cool Merch Capsule in New York," 13 Aug. 2018 Yelp Chief Executive and co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman said on its November earnings call that the results were due to a confluence of factors and that the company had already taken steps to remedy the issues. Cara Lombardo, WSJ, "Longtime Yelp Holder Seeks Board Overhaul at Business-Review Company," 9 Dec. 2018 This 60,000-square-foot facility pays tribute to the confluence of Asian and Pacific American history. Jenna Scatena, Condé Nast Traveler, "15 Best Things to Do in Seattle," 16 May 2018 Located 8 miles north of the Arctic Circle at the confluence of the Yukon and Porcupine Rivers, Fort Yukon was established in 1847 by the Hudson's Bay Company. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "Curious about Nome, Wiseman and Fort Yukon? Here are your guides," 16 June 2018 The confluence of the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic rivers drew people here long before incorporation. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee loves its rivers and Lake Michigan — and keeps abusing them, too," 3 July 2018 While the confluence of complications in Snipes' case was extreme, return trips from nursing homes to hospitals are far from unusual. Jordan Rau,, "Medicare takes aim at boomerang hospitalizations of nursing home patients," 22 June 2018 While the confluence of complications in Snipes’ case was extreme, return trips from nursing homes to hospitals are far from unusual. Jordan Rau, Washington Post, "Medicare Takes Aim At Boomerang Hospitalizations Of Nursing Home Patients," 13 June 2018

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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Statistics for confluence

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for confluence

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

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More Definitions for confluence



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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