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A close-up view of the largest of Harold’s Stones in Trellech, Monmouthshire, Wales, UK, composed of puddingstone which is a kind of conglomerate (sense 3)

From Latin conglomerātus, past participle of conglomerāre (to pile into a heap, to roll together), from con- (prefix indicating a being or bringing together of several objects) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *ḱóm (beside, by, near, with)) + glomerāre (from glomerō (to pile into a heap, to make into a ball, glomerate), from glomus (ball of thread; ball-shaped mass),[1] from Proto-Indo-European *gel- (to form into a ball; ball)).



conglomerate (plural conglomerates)

  1. A cluster of heterogeneous things.
    • 1846, Richard Chenevix Trench, “The Evangelical, Compared with Other Cycles of Miracles”, in Notes on the Miracles of Our Lord, London: John W[illiam] Parker, [], →OCLC, section 2 (The Miracles of the Apocryphal Gospels), page 39:
      They [miracles in the canonical gospels] are held, too, together by his [Jesus Christ's] strong and central personality, which does not leave them a conglomerate of marvellous anecdotes accidentally heaped together, but parts of a great organic whole, of which every part is in vital coherence with every other.
  2. (business) A corporation formed by the combination of several smaller corporations whose activities are unrelated to the corporation's primary activity.
    • 2017 December 5, “ESAs [European Supervisory Authorities] Publish the List of Financial Conglomerates”, in European Banking Authority[1], archived from the original on 24 July 2018:
      The 2017 list includes 80 financial conglomerates with the head of group located in the European Union or European Economic Area, one financial conglomerate with the head of group in Switzerland, one in Bermuda, and two in the United States.
  3. (geology) A rock consisting of gravel or pebbles embedded in a matrix.
    • 1838, Charles Lyell, “Aqueous Rocks—Their Composition and Forms of Stratification”, in Elements of Geology, London: John Murray, [], →OCLC, page 27:
      When sandstone is coarse-grained, it is usually called grit. If the grains are rounded, and large enough to be called pebbles, it becomes a conglomerate, or pudding-stone, which may consist of pieces of one or of many different kinds of rock. A conglomerate, therefore, is simply gravel bound together by a cement.
    • 1869, Victor Hugo, [anonymous translator], “Chesil”, in The Man Who Laughs: In Two Volumes, international limited edition, volume I, Boston, Mass.: Estes and Lauriat Publishers, →OCLC, part I (The Sea and the Night), book III (The Child in the Shadow), page 156:
      Calcareous lias, slate, and trap are still to be found there, rising from layers of conglomerate like teeth out of a gum. But the pickaxe has broken up and levelled those bristling, rugged peaks which were once the homes of the eagles.
    • 1870, Fitz Hugh Ludlow, “Comstock’s.—A Buffalo Hunt.”, in The Heart of the Continent: A Record of Travel across the Plains and in Oregon, [], New York, N.Y.: Published by Hurd and Houghton;  [], →OCLC, page 97:
      Everywhere in the river appeared a very remarkable conglomerate, and like the slate in exhibiting all the stages of formation. The matrix was the blue clay of the bank, the rubble was the gravel of the bottom.
    • 1985, J. B. Wright, D. A. Hastings, W. B Jones, H. R. Williams, “The Pan African of West Africa – the Eastern Domain”, in Geology and Mineral Resources of West Africa, London: George Allen & Unwin (Publishers), →DOI, →ISBN, part I (The Precambrian of West Africa), page 59, column 1:
      The Middle Voltaian lies unconformably on the Lower Voltaian with a basal conglomerate that can be correlated with conglomerates of the Buem Formation. Both sets of conglomerates have been interpreted as tillites, possibly equivalent to the Infracambrian tillites of the Rokelide–Mauritanide belt west of the craton [] and in the Taoudeni Basin [].

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conglomerate (comparative more conglomerate, superlative most conglomerate)

  1. Clustered together into a mass.
    conglomerate flowers
    • 1631, Francis [Bacon], “III. Century. [Consent of Visibles, and Audibles.]”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. [], 3rd edition, London: [] William Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], paragraph 267, page 69, →OCLC:
      The Beames of Light, when they are multiplied and conglomerate, generate Heat; which is a different Action, from the Action of Sight: []
    • 1705, George Cheyne, “Of the Existence of a Deity”, in Philosophical Principles of Natural Religion: [], London: Printed for George Strahan [], →OCLC, § XXXV, page 213:
      By the motion of the Heart, through the Emulgent Branches, the Blood is brought to the Kidneys, and is there freed of its Serum by their little Glands, [] Much after the ſame manner, are their proper Fluids ſeparated from the Blood in the Liver, Sweetbread, Teſticles, and the other Conglobat and Conglomerate Glands of the Body [].
  2. (geology) Composed of fragments of rock, pebbles, or stones cemented together.
    • 1989, Robert T. Ryder, Alan Thomson, “Abstract”, in Tectonically Controlled Fan Delta and Submarine Fan Sedimentation of Late Miocene Age, Southern Temblor Range, California (U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper; 1442), Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, →OCLC, page 1:
      The Santa Margarita Formation in the southern Temblor Range, composed of conglomerate and subordinate sandstone, evolved as a large complex of fan deltas and submarine fans in late Miocene time.
    • 2015, Megh Raj Dhital, “Siwaliks of Arun–Tamar Region”, in Geology of the Nepal Himalaya: Regional Perspective of the Classic Collided Orogen (Regional Geology Reviews), Cham, Switzerland, Heidelberg: Springer International Publishing, →DOI, →ISBN, section 33.2 (Siwaliks), page 433, column 2:
      He also documented some intercalated mottled reddish clays and marls, and the upper horizons containing bluish clays with conglomerate beds.



conglomerate (third-person singular simple present conglomerates, present participle conglomerating, simple past and past participle conglomerated)

  1. (transitive) To combine together into a larger mass.
    • 1665, John Gadbury, “Sect. IIII. Of Meteors in General, How Caused?”, in Natura Prodigiorum: Or, A Discourse Touching the Nature of Prodigies. [], 2nd edition, London: Printed for Fr. Cossinet, [], →OCLC, page 134:
      [V]apors are never attracted or drawn up above the middle Region of the Air; for that the cold Air there, by thickning and conglomerating them, preſently turn them into clouds: and thence proceeds Miſts, Rains, Snows, Hayls, &c.
    • 1821, [Thomas Dibdin], chapter VI, in Tales of My Landlord, New Series, Containing The Fair Witch of Glas Llyn. [...] In Three Volumes, volume III, London: Printed for William Fearman, [], →OCLC, page 175:
      "In less than an hour," he said, looking up to the sun's disc, which was then feebly struggling through a dim mass of conglomerating clouds; "in less than an hour you shall be fully satisfied and amply revenged."
    • 1871, “an artilleryman” [pseudonym], A Popular Introduction to Rifled Ordnance, for the Use of Learners of the Art of Gunnery, Woolwich, London: Boddy and Co., military printers, [], →OCLC, pages 50–51:
      The tin cylinder, filled with iron balls, which is fired from our smooth-bored guns, was unsuitable for a rifled gun, because the breaking up of such a projectile in the bore was likely to injure the rifling. Then again, lead balls could not well be substituted for iron ones on account of their liability to conglomerate or adhere together in lumps.
    • 2015, Richard J. Hand, Andrew Purssel, “Introduction”, in Adapting Graham Greene, London, New York, N.Y.: Palgrave, →ISBN, page 1:
      Looked at from this angle, we soon realize that the perceived greatness of [William] Shakespeare lies less in his 'originality', than in his exceptional ability to conglomerate and re-apply materials and models in the creation of new dramatic works.
  2. (transitive, business) To combine together into a larger corporation.
    • 1993, “Interlocking Directorates”, in The Philippine Review of Economics and Business, volume 30, number 1, Quezon City, Philippines: School of Economics and the College of Business Administration, University of the Philippines, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 4:
      Some firms conglomerated with suppliers of intermediate inputs and the railroad to carry their products.
    • 2001, Larry Gross, “Facing the Future”, in Up from Invisibility: Lesbians, Gay Men, and the Media in America, New York, N.Y., Chichester, West Sussex: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page 260:
      The hallmark of the late twentieth century in the media industries (and adjacent/overlapping territories, such as the Internet) was the weakening of boundaries that previously distinguished arenas, enterprises, institutions, and professions. [] Entertainment media—the rapidly conglomerating TV/film/cable/publishing/music/sports/Internet megasauruses that can be seen grazing in Los Angeles and New York—represent the pattern even more dramatically than in the case of journalism.

Derived terms[edit]

Terms derived from conglomerate (verb)

Related terms[edit]

Terms related to conglomerate (verb)



  1. ^ James A. H. Murray [et al.], editors (1884–1928), “Conglomerate, v.”, in A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (Oxford English Dictionary), volume II (C), London: Clarendon Press, →OCLC, page 822, column 1.

Further reading[edit]


Etymology 1[edit]



  1. inflection of conglomerare:
    1. second-person plural present indicative
    2. second-person plural imperative

Etymology 2[edit]


conglomerate f pl

  1. feminine plural of conglomerato




  1. second-person singular voseo imperative of conglomerar combined with te