: 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.

Example Sentences

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 Beyond the chronological designer highlights, which actually begin with the spring/summer 1997 ready-to-wear collections in October ’96, various supporting elements conjure an exceptional confluence of creation and circumstance. Amy Verner, Vogue, 7 Mar. 2023 In fact, Gartner expects that, by 2025, 70% of CEOs will mandate a culture of resilience and recommends risk leaders recognize resilience as a strategic imperative to survive a confluence of threats. Galina Antova, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2023 Some of the confluence between victims and the police is downright strange, and speaks to the insularity of the community. Chris Vognar, Rolling Stone, 3 Feb. 2023 Health reporter Helena Oliviero recently got a close-up view of the confluence of all these factors. Helena Oliviero, ajc, 26 Jan. 2023 Golden Gate Park took down a statue of Junípero Serra, a Catholic missionary who mistreated Native Americans; the site, which is near the California Academy of Sciences and the de Young Museum, evokes the confluence of science, nature, and art. Matthew Hutson, The New Yorker, 22 Jan. 2023 Every single passenger of Noordam seems verklempt, stunned into silence by the unexpected grandeur and fragility of the confluence of ice and stone and sea and sky. Ernest White Ii, Condé Nast Traveler, 17 Nov. 2022 Both sides on the ballot question say a confluence of factors led to the result. Samantha J. Gross,, 9 Nov. 2022 The closeness of the race in deep-blue Oregon reflects an unusual confluence of factors. Anchorage Daily News, 6 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

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 30 Mar. 2023.

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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