The Meaning of Conflate: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of conflate? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word conflate, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word conflate mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, Oxford English Dictionary, Webster’s New World College Dictionary, and the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the word conflate is a verb that means to combine or merge. This word is often used in a negative connotation, to warn someone against combining two things that are not related, like two versions of a text. It can also mean to gauge plaster, neutrophils or alloy. The word conflate has two syllables – con-flate, and the pronunciation of conflate is kənfleɪt.

Several other languages around the world also contain words that mean conflate. You may notice that some of these translations look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates, which are often formed when two words have the same root or language of origin. This list of translations of conflate is provided by Word Sense. You can also find translations in places like a Spanish Dictionary or German Dictionary.

  •  German: verbinden‎, vereinigen‎, verschmelzen‎
  •  Portuguese: unir‎, juntar‎
  •  Polish: połączyć‎
  •  Dutch: samenvoegen‎, verbinden‎
  •  Russian: соединя́ть‎, объединя́ть‎
  •  Japanese: 融合‎
  •  Finnish: yhdistää‎
  •  Spanish: unir‎, conflar‎
  •  French: amalgamer‎, confondre‎
  •  Serbo-Croatian: sjediniti‎
  •  Turkish: birleştirmek‎
  •  Estonian: kokku sulatama‎

What are synonyms and antonyms of conflate?

There are several different words that have the same definition as the word conflate. These are called synonyms, which can be used interchangeably with the word conflate. Learning synonyms is a great way to expand your vocabulary and avoid repeating yourself in spoken and written English. This list of synonyms of conflate is provided by Thesaurus

  •   join
  •   unify
  •   intermingle
  •   intermix
  •   amalgamate
  •   hook up
  •  edit
  •   commingle
  •   incorporate
  •   converge
  •   slap on
  •   unite
  •   coalesce
  •   mix
  •   melt into
  •   interface
  •   conglomerate
  •   immerge
  •   plug into
  •   network
  •   meld
  •   blend
  •   fuse
  •   become partners
  •   mingle
  •   cement
  •   throw in together
  •   deal one in
  •   centralize
  •   compound
  •   tack on
  •   join up
  •   hitch on
  •   tag
  •   synthesize
  •   combine
  •   team up
  •   be swallowed up
  •   consolidate
  •   marry
  •   pool
  •   meet
  •   tie in
  •   assimilate
  •   submerge
  •   come aboard
  •   become lost in
  •   line up
  •   absorb

There are also several different words that have the opposite meaning of conflate. These opposite words are called antonyms. Learning antonyms is another great way to expand your English vocabulary in a quick and easy way. These antonyms of conflate are also provided by Thesaurus.

  •  draw apart
  •  assign
  •  space
  •  island
  •  detach
  •  rupture
  •  disconnect
  •  rope off
  •  uncombine
  •  put on one side
  •  compartmentalize
  •  come between
  •  sunder
  •  undo
  •  break up
  •  classify
  •  interval
  •  disentangle
  •  distribute
  •  close off
  •  dissect
  •  compartment
  •  group
  •  split up
  •  uncouple
  •  winnow
  •  comb
  •  dissever
  •  single out
  •  sequester
  •  divide
  •  sort
  •  order
  •  sift
  •  cut off
  •  sever
  •  part
  •  break off
  •  separate
  •  disjoint
  •  intervene
  •  break
  •  seclude
  •  stand between
  •  intersect
  •  cleave
  •  disjoin
  •  come apart
  •  come away
  •  insulate
  •  split
  •  discriminate
  •  dichotomize
  •  divorce

What is the origin of the word conflate?

According to Etymonline, the word conflate has been used since mid-c15 to mean to mold or cast from molten metal. This traditional usage  is now obsolete, but comes from the Latin conflatus/Latin cōnflātus/Latin conflātus, which is the past participle of the verb conflare/Latin cōnflāre/Latin conflāre meaning to light or blow up, or melt together, from the Latin stem cōnflō and the Latin conflat/cōnflāt. This comes from the Latin com/cōn meaning with or together and the word flāre/flare/flō meaning to blow. This comes from the root bhlē- in Indo-European roots. Usage note: he new sense has been used since c16 to mean to bring together from various sources, and in reference to text since 1885. One can add the different suffixes ed, ing and tion to make the related words conflated, conflating, and conflation. These different conjugate tenses include the present tense, past tense, present participle and more.

How can the word conflate be used in a sentence?

The word conflate can be used in many different sentences. Using words in a sentence or making flashcards are great way to memorize the definition of a word.

During the GameStop stock crisis, the media conflated the people buying the stock with gamers. However, these people were merely conflating adaptability with interests in technological change and video game-related media.

People tend to conflate spending equal time with two people as liking them equally, but sometimes it becomes impossible to spend time with a single entity during a specific time. It drive me nuts.

Marie Antoinette conflated the protest with ungratefulness. “Let them eat cake,” she said. Political candidates like a senator tend to have adverse climates to protests, and thus a fairness doctrine is created. 

The biblical criticism talk discussed the conflation of the variant readings of a text. Since the variant texts differed so widely from one church to another, the two could not be compared. In one text someone is a saint, the other a sinner. 

The actors in the class conflated the composite reading with the performance they had seen about the helicopter, though the two were unrelated. This caused great confusion at first use, and the teacher adjusted his curriculum. 

People tended to conflate the social issues in Iraq with the urban crisis – was such fusion more applicable in the past tense? The usage panelists study the distinct outline of the conflate text and the national debt as well as the state income tax, federal deficit and sales tax to come to a conclusion.

The public conflated fiction – esp. Jane Austen’s heroines, like Elizabeth Bennet and Emma Woodhouse. We might remember that these are each an individual single character from a single text.

The lovers did not register that they were conflating infatuation with true love. The specific proportions of their infatuation were off the charts and they picked every tem off the rose bushes for one another..

Overall, the word conflate means to merge or meld. This word comes from the Latin conflātus and the  past participle of conflāre.


  1. conflate: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  2. CONFLATE Synonyms: 23 Synonyms & Antonyms for CONFLATE | Thesaurus 
  3. SEPARATE Synonyms: 195 Synonyms & Antonyms for SEPARATE | Thesaurus 
  4. conflate | Origin and meaning of conflate | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  5. Conflate definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary