Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 18, 2020 is:

conflate • kun-FLAYT  • verb

1 a : to bring together : fuse  

b : confuse

2 : to combine (things, such as two readings of a text) into a composite whole


“Some wonder if students are conflating a decision to put off school for a year, and maybe take a job, with the more formal process of an actual gap year—a planned experience that has career and academic benefits.” — Bill Schackner, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 11 May 2020

“Given its name, St. Thomas in Houston has on occasion been conflated with St. Thomas in Minnesota, which as one of the nation’s most successful Division III programs is now trying to make the jump to NCAA Division I. St. Thomas in Houston has no such aspirations.” — David Barron, The Houston Chronicle, 28 Apr. 2020

Did you know?

We’re not just blowing hot air when we tell you that conflate can actually be traced back to the same roots as the English verb blow. Conflate derives from conflatus, the past participle of the Latin verb conflare (“to blow together, to fuse”), which was formed by combining the prefix com-, meaning “with” or “together,” with the Latin verb flare, which means “to blow” and is akin to English’s blow. Other descendants of flare in English include afflatus (“a divine imparting of knowledge or power”), inflate, insufflation (“an act of blowing”), and flageolet (a kind of small flute—the flageolet referring to a green kidney bean is unrelated).

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