Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, or being a form of government in which a union of states recognizes the sovereignty of a central authority while retaining certain residual powers of government.
  • adj. Of or constituting a form of government in which sovereign power is divided between a central authority and a number of constituent political units.
  • adj. Of or relating to the central government of a federation as distinct from the governments of its member units.
  • adj. Favorable to or advocating federation: The senator's federal leanings were well known.
  • adj. Relating to or formed by a treaty or compact between constituent political units.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or supporting Federalism or the Federalist Party.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or loyal to the Union cause during the American Civil War.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or being the central government of the United States.
  • adj. Relating to or characteristic of a style of architecture, furniture, and decoration produced in the United States especially in the late 18th and early 19th centuries and characterized by adaptations of classical forms combined with typically American motifs.
  • n. A supporter of the Union during the American Civil War, especially a Union soldier.
  • n. A Federalist.
  • n. A federal agent or official.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Pertaining to a league or treaty; derived from an agreement or covenant between parties, especially between nations.
  • adj. Pertaining to the national government level, as opposed to state, provincial, county, city, or town.
  • n. A law-enforcement official of the FBI; short for federal agent.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to a league or treaty; derived from an agreement or covenant between parties, especially between nations; constituted by a compact between parties, usually governments or their representatives.
  • adj.
  • adj. Composed of states or districts which retain only a subordinate and limited sovereignty, as the Union of the United States, or the Sonderbund of Switzerland.
  • adj. Consisting or pertaining to such a government.
  • adj. Friendly or devoted to such a government. see Federalist.
  • n. See federalist.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to a league, covenant, or contract; derived from a covenant between parties, particularly between nations.
  • Confederated; founded on an alliance by confederation or compact for mutual support: as, the federal diet of the old German empire.
  • Pertaining to a union of states in some essential degree constituted by and deriving its power from the people of all, considered as an entirety, and not solely by and from each of the states separately: as, a federal government, such as the governments of the United States. Switzerland, and some of the Spanish-American republics.
  • Favorable to federation; supporting the principle of a union of states under a common government; specifically, in the United States, relating to, or adhering to, the support of the Federal Constitution.
  • In the American civil war, pertaining to or supporting the Union or federal government.
  • n. A supporter of federation; one devoted to a union of states in a national government or to its preservation; a unionist. Specifically
  • n. In the American civil war, a Unionist; particularly, a Union soldier: opposed to Confederate.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. being of or having to do with the northern United States and those loyal to the Union during the American Civil War
  • adj. characterized by or constituting a form of government in which power is divided between one central and several regional authorities
  • adj. of or relating to the central government of a federation
  • n. a member of the Union Army during the American Civil War
  • n. any federal law-enforcement officer
  • adj. national; especially in reference to the government of the United States as distinct from that of its member units

Etymologies

From Latin foedus, foeder-, league, treaty; see bheidh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French fédéral, from Latin stem foeder- of foedus ("covenant, league, treaty, alliance") (Wiktionary)

Examples

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