[kon-fluh-grey-shuh n]


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 formscon·fla·gra·tive, adjective

Synonyms for conflagration

See flame. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for conflagration

inferno, blaze, bonfire, wildfire, flaming, holocaust, burning

Examples from the Web for conflagration

Contemporary Examples of conflagration

Historical Examples of conflagration

  • 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 Formsconflagrative, adjective

Word Origin for conflagration

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

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