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[kon-fluh-grey-shuh n] /ˌkɒn fləˈgreɪ ʃən/
a destructive fire, usually an extensive one.
Origin of conflagration
1545-55; < Latin conflagrātiōn- (stem of conflagrātiō), equivalent to conflagrāt(us) past participle of conflagrāre to burn up (con- con- + flagr- (akin to fulgur lightning, flamma flame, Greek phlóx; see phlox) + -ātus -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
conflagrative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for conflagration
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Isabel herself had scarcely time for escape, so rapid was the conflagration.

    Leila, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • You're liable to start a conflagration you can't stop, and that may consume yourself, is all.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • Then a shower of sparks rose high in the air and the conflagration subsided.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • Presently, as the conflagration waned, they opened their eyes.

  • "A costly blaze that," said Hoare, as he watched the conflagration.

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for conflagration


a large destructive fire
Derived Forms
conflagrative, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin conflagrātiō, from conflagrāre to be burnt up, from com- (intensive) + flagrāre to burn; related to Latin fulgur lightning
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for conflagration

1550s, from Middle French conflagration (16c.) or directly from Latin conflagrationem (nominative conflagratio), present participle of conflagrare "to burn up," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + flagrare "to burn" (see flagrant).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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