confine (v.) Look up confine at
1520s, "to border on," from Middle French confiner, from confins (n.); see confine (n.). Sense of "keeping within limits" is from 1590s. Related: Confined; confining.
confinement (n.) Look up confinement at
1590s, from French confinement (16c.; the Old French word was confinacion), from confiner (see confine). As a euphemism for "childbed" it dates from 1774 (the Middle English expression was Our Lady's bands).
confirm (v.) Look up confirm at
mid-13c., confirmyn "to ratify," from Old French confermer (13c., Modern French confirmer) "strengthen, establish, consolidate; affirm by proof or evidence; anoint (a king)," from Latin confirmare "make firm, strengthen, establish," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + firmare "to strengthen," from firmus "strong, steadfast" (see firm (adj.)). Related: Confirmative; confirmatory.
confirmation (n.) Look up confirmation at
c. 1300, confyrmacyoun, the Church rite, from Old French confirmacion (13c.) "strengthening, confirmation; proof; ratification," from Latin confirmationem (nominative confirmatio) "a securing, establishing; an assurance, encouragement," noun of action from confirmare (see confirm). As a legal action, "verification, proof," from late 14c.; as "action of making sure," from late 15c.
confirmed (adj.) Look up confirmed at
late 14c., of diseases, "firmly established," past participle adjective from confirm. Of persons and their habits, from 1826.
confiscate (v.) Look up confiscate at
1550s, originally, "to appropriate for the treasury," from Latin confiscatus, past participle of confiscare, from com- "together" (see com-) + fiscus "public treasury," literally "money basket" (see fiscal). Related: Confiscated; confiscating.
confiscation (n.) Look up confiscation at
1540s, from Middle French confiscation, from Latin confiscationem (nominative confiscatio), noun of action from past participle stem of confiscare (see confiscate).
confit Look up confit at
obsolete form of comfit.
conflagrate (v.) Look up conflagrate at
1650s, "to catch fire," from Latin conflagrat-, past participle stem of conflagrare (see conflagration). Meaning "to set on fire" is from 1835.
conflagration (n.) Look up conflagration at
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).
conflate (v.) Look up conflate at
1540s, from Latin conflat-, past participle stem of conflare "to blow up, kindle, light; bring together, compose," also "to melt together," literally "to blow together," from com- "with" (see com-) + flare "to blow" (see blow (v.1)).
conflation (n.) Look up conflation at
1620s, from Late Latin conflationem (nominative conflatio), noun of action from past participle stem of conflare "bring together, compose," also "melt together" (see conflate).
conflict (v.) Look up conflict at
early 15c., from Latin conflictus, past participle of confligere "to strike together, be in conflict," from com- "together" (see com-) + fligere "to strike" (see afflict). Related: Conflicted; conflicting.
conflict (n.) Look up conflict at
early 15c., "armed encounter, battle," from Old French conflit and directly from Latin conflictus (see conflict (v.)). Meaning "struggle, quarrel" is from mid-15c. Psychological sense of "incompatible urges in one person" is from 1859 (hence conflicted, past participle adjective). Phrase conflict of interest was in use by 1743.
conflictual (adj.) Look up conflictual at
1950, in psychological writing, from conflict (n.) on model of habitual, etc.
confluence (n.) Look up confluence at
early 15c., from Late Latin confluentia, from Latin confluentem (nominative confluens), present participle of confluere "to flow together," from com- "together" (see com-) + fluere "to flow" (see fluent).
confluent (adj.) Look up confluent at
late 15c., from Middle French confluent or directly from Latin confluentem (nominative confluens), present participle of confluere "to flow together" (see confluence). The noun meaning "a stream which flows into another" is from 1850.
conform (v.) Look up conform at
mid-14c., confourmen, from Old French conformer "conform (to), agree (to), make or be similar, be agreeable" (13c.), from Latin conformare "to fashion, to form, to shape; educate; modify," from com- "together" (see com-) + formare "to form" (see form (v.)).

Sense of "to comply with the usages of the Church of England" is from 1610s; hence conformist (1630s), opposed to non-conformist or dissenter. Related: Conformance; conformed; conforming.
conformable (adj.) Look up conformable at
1510s, from conform + -able.
conformation (n.) Look up conformation at
1510s, from Latin conformationem (nominative conformatio) "a symmetrical forming," noun of action from past participle stem of conformare (see conform).
conformism (n.) Look up conformism at
1890, "tendency or need to conform" to some group standard, from conform + -ism. In religion, from c. 1902. In geology from c. 1912. Modern, general sociological sense (social conformism) popularized from c. 1948.
conformist (n.) Look up conformist at
"one who conforms" in any way, originally usually with reference to religion; 1630s, from conform + -ist. Compare conformism.
conformity (n.) Look up conformity at
early 15c., conformyte, from Middle French conformité (14c.), from Late Latin conformitatem (nominative conformitas), from conformis "similar in shape," from conformare (see conform). Modern form is from 17c.
confound (v.) Look up confound at
c. 1300, "make uneasy, abash," from Anglo-French confoundre, Old French confondre (12c.) "crush, ruin, disgrace, throw into disorder," from Latin confundere "to confuse," literally "to pour together, mix, mingle," from com- "together" (see com-) + fundere "to pour" (see found (v.2)).

The figurative sense of "confuse, fail to distinguish, mix up" emerged in Latin, passed into French and thence into Middle English, where it is mostly found in Scripture; the sense of "destroy utterly" is recorded in English from c. 1300. Meaning "perplex" is late 14c. The Latin past participle confusus, meanwhile, became confused (q.v.).
confounded (adj.) Look up confounded at
as an intensive execration, "odious, detestable, damned," 1650s, from past participle of confound, in its older English sense of "overthrow utterly."
confraternity (n.) Look up confraternity at
late 15c., from Old French confraternité (14c.), from Medieval Latin confraternitas, from confrater (see confrere).
confrere (n.) Look up confrere at
early 15c., from Old French confrere "brother, companion" (13c.), from Medieval Latin confrater, from com- "together, with" (see com-) + frater "brother" (see brother). Probably lost in later 17c. and reborrowed 19c. from Modern French confrère.
confront (v.) Look up confront at
1560s, "to stand in front of," from Middle French confronter (15c.), from Medieval Latin confrontare "assign limits, adjoin," from Latin com- "together" (see com-) + frontem (nominative frons) "forehead" (see front (n.)). Sense of "to face in defiance or hostility" is late 16c. Related: Confronted; confronting.
confrontation (n.) Look up confrontation at
1630s, "action of bringing two parties face to face," from Medieval Latin confrontationem (nominative confrontatio), noun of action from past participle stem of confrontare (see confront). International political sense is attested from 1963 and traces to the "Cuban missile crisis" of the previous year.
confrontational (adj.) Look up confrontational at
1969, from confrontation + -al (1). Related: Confrontationally.
Confucius Look up Confucius at
1837, Latinization of Chinese K'ung Fu-tzu "K'ung the philosopher (or Master)" (c. 551 B.C.E.-c. 479 B.C.E.). The name first appears in a Latin publication of Chinese works (Paris, 1687). Connection with the martial arts kung-fu is obscure, uncertain. His philosophy based on the Golden Rule: "What you do not like when done to yourself do not do to others." Related: Confucian (adj., 1837); Confucianism (1846).
confuse (v.) Look up confuse at
1550s, in literal sense "mix or mingle things so as to render the elements indistinguishable;" attested from mid-18c. in active, figurative sense of "discomfit in mind or feeling;" not in general use until 19c., taking over senses formerly belonging to confound, dumbfound, flabbergast etc. The past participle confused (q.v.) is attested much earlier (serving as an alternative past tense to confound), and the verb here might be a back-formation from it. Related: Confusing.
confused (adj.) Look up confused at
early 14c., "discomfited, routed, defeated" (of groups), serving at first as an alternative past participle of confound, as Latin confusus was the past participle of confundere "to pour together, mix, mingle; to join together;" hence, figuratively, "to throw into disorder; to trouble, disturb, upset." The Latin past participle also was used as an adjective, with reference to mental states, "troubled, embarrassed," and this passed into Old French as confus "dejected, downcast, undone, defeated, discomfited in mind or feeling," which passed to Middle English as confus (14c.; for example Chaucer's "I am so confus, that I may not seye"), which then was assimilated to the English past participle pattern by addition of -ed. Of individuals, "discomfited in mind, perplexed," from mid-14c.; of ideas, speech, thought, etc., from 1610s. By mid-16c., the word seems to have been felt as a pure adj., and it evolved a back-formed verb in confuse. Few English etymologies are more confused.
confusion (n.) Look up confusion at
late 13c., "overthrow, ruin," from Old French confusion (11c.) "disorder, confusion, shame," from Latin confusionem (nominative confusio) "a mingling, mixing, blending; confusion, disorder," noun of action from confundere "to pour together," also "to confuse" (see confound). Sense of "a putting to shame" (a sort of mental "overthrow") is late 14c. in English, while that of "mental perplexity" is from 1590s.
confusticate (v.) Look up confusticate at
mid-19c., a fantastical American English coinage from confound or confuse, perhaps originally in minstrel show comedy, along with confubuscate, conflabberated, etc.
confutation (n.) Look up confutation at
mid-15c., from Latin confutationem (nominative confutatio), noun of action from past participle stem of confutare (see confute).
confute (v.) Look up confute at
1520s, from Middle French confuter, from Latin confutare "repress, check; disprove, restrain, silence," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + *futare "to beat," from PIE root *bhau- "to strike, beat" (see batter (v.)). Related: Confuted; confuting.
conga (n.) Look up conga at
1935, American Spanish, fem. of (danza) Congo "Congo (dance);" so called because it was assumed to be of African origin.
congeal (v.) Look up congeal at
late 14c., from Old French congeler (14c.) "to freeze, thicken," from Latin congelare "to cause to freeze, to freeze together," from com- "together" (see com-) + gelare "to freeze," from gelu "frost, ice" (see cold (adj.)). Related: Congealed; congealing.
congee (n.) Look up congee at
early 14c., from Old French congié "permission, leave of absence, dismissal, ceremonial leave-taking" (Modern French congé), from Latin commeatus "passage, going to and fro," hence "leave of absence," from commeare, from com- "with, together" (see com-) + meare "to go, pass" (see mutable). Probably lost 17c. and revived 19c. from Modern French.
congener (n.) Look up congener at
1730s, from French congénère (16c.), from Latin congener "of the same race or kind," from com- "together" (see com-) + gener-, stem of genus "kind" (see genus).
congenial (adj.) Look up congenial at
1620s, "kindred, sympathetic," from Latin com- "together" (see com-) + genialis "of birth," thus, "kindred" (see genus). Sense of "agreeable" is first recorded 1711. Related: Congeniality.
congenital (adj.) Look up congenital at
"existing from birth," 1796, from Latin congenitus, from com- "together, with" (see com-) + genitus, past participle of gignere "to beget" (see genus). The sense formerly belonged to congenial. Related: Congenitally.
conger (n.) Look up conger at
c. 1300, from Latin conger "sea-eel," from Greek gongros "conger," probably from PIE root *geng-, *gong- "a lump, rounded object."
congeries (n.) Look up congeries at
1610s, from Latin congeries "heap, pile, collected mass," from congerere "to carry together" (see congest). False singular congery is from 1866.
Man should have some sense of responsibility to the human congeries. As a matter of observation, very few men have any such sense. No social order can exist very long unless a few, at least a few, men have such a sense. [Ezra Pound, "ABC of Economics," 1933]
congest (v.) Look up congest at
early 15c., "to bring together" (transitive), from Latin congestus, past participle of congerere "to bring together, pile up," from com- "together" (see com-) + gerere "to carry, perform" (see gest). Medical sense of "unnatural accumulation" (1758) led to transferred (intransitive) sense of "overcrowd" (1859). Related: Congested; congesting.
congested (adj.) Look up congested at
1570s, "heaped up," past participle adjective from congest. Meaning "overcrowded" is recorded from 1862.
congestion (n.) Look up congestion at
early 15c., "action of gathering together," from Middle French congestion (14c.), from Latin congestionem (nominative congestio), noun of action from past participle stem of congerere (see congest). Medical sense is from 1630s; meaning "a crowding together of people, traffic, etc." is from 1883.
congestive (adj.) Look up congestive at
1846, from congest + -ive. Congestive heart failure is recorded from 1928.
conglomerate (adj.) Look up conglomerate at
1570s, from Latin conglomeratus, past participle of conglomerare "to roll together," from com- "together" (see com-) + glomerare "to gather into a ball," from glomus (genitive glomeris) "a ball," from PIE root *glem-.