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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 40921107, 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 31070870, 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, volume I, international limited edition, Boston, Mass.: Estes and Lauriat Publishers, OCLC 746530511, 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 27675147, 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.



conglomerate (comparative more conglomerate, superlative most conglomerate)

  1. Clustered together into a mass.
    conglomerate flowers
    • 1627, [Francis Bacon], “III. Century. [Consent of Visibles, and Audibles.]”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie: In Ten Centuries. [], London: Published after the authors death, by VVilliam Rawley; printed by I[ohn] H[aviland and Augustine Mathewes] for William Lee [], OCLC 1044242069; 3rd edition, London: Published [] by VVilliam Rawley; printed by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], 1631, OCLC 1044372886, paragraph 267, page 69:
      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 12981367, § 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.



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.
  2. (transitive, business) To combine together into a larger corporation.

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  1. ^ James A. H. Murray [et al.], editor (1884–1928), “Conglomerate, v.”, in A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (Oxford English Dictionary), volume II (C), London: Clarendon Press, OCLC 15566697, page 822, column 1.

Further reading[edit]




  1. second-person plural present indicative of conglomerare
  2. second-person plural imperative of conglomerare
  3. feminine plural of conglomerato