confectionery (n.) Look up confectionery at
1540s, "things made or sold by a confectioner," from confection + -ery. Of architectural ornamentation, from 1861.
confederacy (n.) Look up confederacy at
late 14c., from Anglo-French confederacie (Old French confederacie), from stem of Latin confoederatio, from confoederare (see confederate). Earliest in reference to leagues of classical Greek states (Aetolian, Achaean, etc.), later of the Netherlands. The word was used of the United States of America under (and in) the Articles of Confederation (1777-1788). In reference to the breakaway Confederate States of America (1861-1865) from 1861.
Confederacy now usually implies a looser or more temporary association than confederation, which is applied to a union of states organized on an intentionally permanent basis. [OED]
confederate (v.) Look up confederate at
late 14c., from Late Latin confoederatus "leagued together," past participle of confoederare "to unite by a league," from com- "with, together" (see com-) + foederare, from foedus (genitive foederis) "a league," from suffixed form of PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade." Also used as a past participle adjective from late 14c., as a simple adjective from 1550s; meaning "of or belonging to the Confederate States of America" is from 1861. Used as a noun from late 15c. (Late Latin confoederatus also was used as a noun in its day).
confederation (n.) Look up confederation at
early 15c., "act of confederating," from Middle French confédération, from Old French confederacion (14c.), from Late Latin confoederationem (nominative confoederatio), noun of action from confoederare (see confederate). Meaning "states or persons united by a league" is from 1620s.
confer (v.) Look up confer at
1530s, from Middle French conférer (14c.) "to give, converse, compare," from Latin conferre "to bring together," figuratively "to compare; consult, deliberate, talk over," from assimilated form of com "together" (see com-) + ferre "to bear, carry," from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry," also "to bear children." Sense of "taking counsel" led to conference. The meaning "compare" (common 1530-1650) is largely obsolete, but the abbreviation cf. still is used in this sense. Related: Conferred; conferring.
conference (n.) Look up conference at
1550s, "act of conferring," from Middle French conférence (15c.), from Medieval Latin conferentia, from Latin conferens, present participle of conferre "to bring together; deliberate, talk over" (see confer). Meaning "formal meeting for consultation" is from 1580s.
conferral (n.) Look up conferral at
1880, from confer + -al (2).
confess (v.) Look up confess at
late 14c., from Old French confesser (transitive and intransitive), from Vulgar Latin *confessare, from Latin confess-, past participle stem of confiteri "to acknowledge," from assimilated form of com "together" (see com-) + fateri "to admit," akin to fari "speak," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say."

Its original religious sense was of one who avows his religion in spite of persecution or danger but does not suffer martyrdom. Old French confesser thus had a figurative sense of "to harm, hurt, make suffer." Related: Confessed; confessing. An Old English word for it was andettan.
confessed (adj.) Look up confessed at
"self-acknowledged," 1560s, past participle adjective from confess.
confession (n.) Look up confession at
late 14c., "action of confessing," originally in religion, from Old French confession (10c.), from Latin confessionem (nominative confessio) "confession, acknowledgement," noun of action from past participle stem of confiteri (see confess). In law, from 1570s. Meaning "that which is confessed" is mid-15c. An Old English word for it was andettung, also scriftspræc.
confessional (adj.) Look up confessional at
"pertaining to confession," mid-15c., from Medieval Latin confessionalis (see confessional (n.)).
confessional (n.) Look up confessional at
"place where a priest sits to hear confession," 1727, from French confessional, from Medieval Latin confessionale, noun use of neuter of confessionalis (adj.), from confiteri (see confess).
confessor (n.) Look up confessor at
late Old English, "one who avows his religion," especially in the face of danger, but does not suffer martyrdom, from Latin confessor, agent noun from confiteri (see confess). Meaning "one who hears confessions" is from mid-14c.; this properly would be Latin confessarius, but Latin confessor was being used in this sense from the 9th century.

Edward the Confessor (c.1003-1066, canonized 1161), last Anglo-Saxon king, was pious enough but does not seem to fit his title; perhaps so called to distinguish him from another Anglo-Saxon saint/king, Edward the Martyr, who does fit his.
confetti (n.) Look up confetti at
1815, from Italian plural of confetto "sweetmeat," via Old French, from Latin confectum, confectus (see confection). A small candy traditionally thrown during carnivals in Italy, custom adopted in England for weddings and other occasions, with symbolic tossing of paper.
confidant (n.) Look up confidant at
1610s, confident, "(male) person trusted with private affairs," from French confident (16c.), from Italian confidente "a trusty friend," literally "confident, trusty," from Latin confidentem (nominative confidens), present participle of confidere "to trust, confide," from assimilated form of com, here probably an intensive prefix (see com-), + fidere "to trust" (from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade"). The spelling with -a- came to predominate 18c. and might reflect the French pronunciation.
confidante (n.) Look up confidante at
1709, "female confidant," from French confidente, fem. of confident (see confidant).
confide (v.) Look up confide at
mid-15c., "to trust or have faith," from Latin confidere "to trust in, rely firmly upon, believe," from assimilated form of com, here probably an intensive prefix (see com-), + fidere "to trust" (from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade"). Meaning "to share a secret with" is from 1735; phrase confide in (someone) is from 1888. Related: Confided; confiding.
confidence (n.) Look up confidence at
early 15c., from Middle French confidence or directly from Latin confidentia, from confidentem (nominative confidens) "firmly trusting, bold," present participle of confidere "to have full trust or reliance," from assimilated form of com, here probably an intensive prefix (see com-), + fidere "to trust" (from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade"). For sense of "swindle" see con (adj.).
confident (adj.) Look up confident at
1570s, "self-reliant, sure of oneself," from Middle French confident, from Latin confidentem (nominative confidens) "firmly trusting, reliant, self-confident, bold, daring," present participle of confidere "to have full trust or reliance," from assimilated form of com, here probably an intensive prefix (see com-), + fidere "to trust" (from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade"). Related: Confidently.
confidente (n.) Look up confidente at
see confidant.
confidential (adj.) Look up confidential at
1759, from Latin confidentia (see confidence) + -al (1). Related: Confidentiality; confidentially.
configuration (n.) Look up configuration at
1550s, from Latin configurationem (nominative configuratio), noun of action from past participle stem of configurare (see configure).
configure (v.) Look up configure at
late 14c., from Latin configurare "to fashion after a pattern," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see com-) + figurare "to form, shape," from figura "a shape, form, figure" (from PIE root *dheigh- "to form, build").
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.
confine (n.) Look up confine at
c. 1400, "boundary, limit" (usually as confines), from Old French confins "boundaries," from Medieval Latin confines, from Latin confinium (plural confinia) "boundary, limit," from confine, neuter of confinis "bordering on, having the same boundaries," from com "with, together" (see com-) + finis "an end" (see finish (v.)).
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 assimilated form of com "with, 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, blaze, glow," from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn."
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, together" (see com-) + flare "to blow" (from PIE root *bhle- "to blow").
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 (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.
conflict (v.) Look up conflict at
early 15c., from Latin conflictus, past participle of confligere "to strike together, be in conflict," from com "with, together" (see com-) + fligere "to strike" (see afflict). Related: Conflicted; conflicting.
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 "with, 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," from com "with, together" (see com-) + fluere "to flow" (see fluent). 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 assimilated form of com "together" (see com-) + fundere "to pour" (from nasalized form of PIE root *gheu- "to pour").

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).