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Word of the Day
Friday, August 18, 2017

Definitions for confabulate

  1. to converse informally; chat.
  2. Psychiatry. to engage in confabulation.

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Citations for confabulate
In the large room, where several different groups had been formed, and the hum of voices and of laughter was loud, these two young persons might confabulate ... without attracting attention. Henry James, Washington Square, 1880
If a person asks a machine “How tall are you?” and the machine wants to win the Turing test, it has no choice but to confabulate. Gary Marcus, "Why Can't My Computer Understand Me?" The New Yorker, August 14, 2013
Origin of confabulate
Confabulate has a straightforward origin in the Latin verb confābulārī “to converse, discuss,” which in turn is a compound of fābulārī “to talk, chat” (the source of Spanish hablar and Portuguese falar “to speak”). Fābulārī is formed from the noun fābula “story, narration,” which in turn derives from the simple verb fārī “to speak.” The Latin root fā- derives from the Proto-Indo-European root bhā-, which is very well represented in the classical languages: Latin, e.g., fāma “fame,” fātum “fate” and Greek, e.g., phḗmē (dialect phā́mā) “utterance, report, fame” (as in Polýphēmos “much spoken of, famous,” and the name of the Cyclops in the Odyssey) and phṓnē “sound, voice” (as in telephone, microphone). Confabulate entered English in the early 17th century.