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 reservoir is located at the confluence of the Arkavathy and Kumudavathi rivers. Sanjana Venkatesan, Quartz India, "Satellite images show how badly India’s reservoirs dried up," 2 July 2019 About 12 miles later, at the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers, your ride ends in Glenwood Springs, renowned for its geothermal activity. Jeanine Barone, The Know, "Ride your bike on these Colorado railroad routes without fear of being run over by a train," 2 July 2019 The company, led by Rufus Putnam, made the difficult journey to Ohio and founded Marietta at the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio rivers. Polly Campbell,, "In 'The Pioneers,' historian McCullough finds heroes in Ohio history," 1 July 2019 The Beacon Falls project has been in limbo since 2000, when the region’s previous training facility, located on an island at the confluence of the Housatonic and Naugatuck Rivers, was shut down due to environmental concerns. Daniela Altimari,, "Officials in the Valley dismayed by Gov. Ned Lamont’s reversal on fire training center," 25 June 2019 Here, at the base of Mount Tennōzan and at the confluence of three rivers, mineral water flows with such purity that it was recorded in an ancient collection of Japanese poetry during the Nara period, some 1,200 years ago. Hannah Lott-schwartz, Fortune, "Inside Japan’s Oldest Whisky Distillery," 16 June 2019 For centuries, the Grand Hôtel-Dieu functioned as a hospital for pilgrims and the poor, with a prominent location at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers. Mary Winston Nicklin, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Food Lovers Should Visit Lyon This Fall," 11 June 2019 The greatest confluence of political threats during his six years in power. Karen Leigh,, "What to Watch at China's Biggest Meeting of the Year: QuickTake," 18 Feb. 2019 The rare confluence of those results with a Federal Reserve meeting, monthly jobs report and scheduled trade talks in Washington between the U.S. and China could upend the recent stretch of quiet trading in financial markets. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Overlap of Tech Earnings, Trade Talks, Fed Meeting Will Test Stocks," 27 Jan. 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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Statistics for confluence

Last Updated

8 Jul 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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Comments on confluence

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an act or instance of editing or removing

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