Definition of confabulate in English:



  • 1formal Engage in conversation; talk.

    ‘she could be heard on the telephone confabulating with someone’
    • ‘Broken cultures therapeutically confabulate, mythologise former ways of life, and fight off meaninglessness by shoring up crumbling identities.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This was confabulated into Christian mythology, the converted Norse intertwining the character with one of the first saints of the region, Saint Nicholas.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’).