Definition of confabulate in English:



  • 1formal Engage in conversation; talk.

    ‘she could be heard on the telephone confabulating with someone’
    • ‘Some people purchased them, and, when asked why, were quite ready to volunteer one confabulated answer or another.’
    • ‘Since the story broke, six staffers, including two senior editors, have spent more than 6,000 man hours attending commission hearings, and confabulating with as many as 12 lawyers.’
    • ‘Broken cultures therapeutically confabulate, mythologise former ways of life, and fight off meaninglessness by shoring up crumbling identities.’
    • ‘This was confabulated into Christian mythology, the converted Norse intertwining the character with one of the first saints of the region, Saint Nicholas.’
    • ‘Chances are, you can get a large percentage of your family members confabulating with you on something that simply couldn't have happened, given that Bugs Bunny is a Warner Brothers character.’
    talk, speak, chat, have a conversation, have a talk, have a discussion, discourse
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  • 2Psychiatry
    Fabricate imaginary experiences as compensation for loss of memory.

    ‘she has lapses in attention and concentration—she may be confabulating a little’
    • ‘Does the person fumble, confabulate, get defensive and angry, etc.’
    • ‘R. has come a long way but she still confabulates and struggles with short-term memory loss.’
    • ‘People who confabulate experience their false memories as true.’
    • ‘Why the brain stimulates and confabulates just the memories it does remains a mystery, though there are several plausible explanations.’
    • ‘Neuropsychological evidence points towards our tendency to confabulate stories that we believe to be true in order to fit together disparate pieces of information.’


Early 17th century: from Latin confabulat- chatted together, from the verb confabulari, from con- together + fabulari (from fabula fable).