Federal meaning

fĕdər-əl, fĕdrəl
The definition of federal is something relating to a form of government where states recognize the power of a central government while still keeping certain state-level governmental powers.

An example of federal is the United States government.

adjective
16
4
Favorable to or advocating federation.

The senator's federal leanings were well known.

adjective
12
5
Of or constituting a form of government in which sovereign power is divided between a central authority and a number of constituent political units.
adjective
9
5
Pertaining to a league or treaty; derived from an agreement or covenant between parties, especially between nations.
adjective
8
5
Of or relating to the central government of a federation as distinct from the governments of its member units.
adjective
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4
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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.
adjective
3
3
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.
adjective
2
3
Relating to or formed by a treaty or compact between constituent political units.
adjective
2
3
Of, relating to, or being the central government of the United States.
adjective
2
3
A federal agent or official.
noun
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3
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Of or formed by a compact; specif., designating or of a union of states, groups, etc. in which each member agrees to subordinate its governmental power to that of the central authority in certain specified common affairs.
adjective
1
3
Of or supporting the Federalist Party or its principle of strong centralized government.
adjective
1
3
Of or pertaining to the style in architecture and furniture based on classical Roman models that flourished in the U.S. from 1780 into the 1830s.
adjective
1
3
Of or supporting the government of the U.S. in the Civil War; Union; pro-Union.
adjective
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A supporter or soldier of the U.S. government in the Civil War.
noun
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A U.S. federal agent or officer.
noun
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Pertaining to a system of government such as that adopted in the United States, in which a national government oversees a federation of local governments, with distinctly defined but overlapping responsibilities.
adjective
1
3
Pertaining to the national government level, as opposed to state, provincial, county, city, or town.
adjective
1
3
(US) A law-enforcement official of the FBI; short for federal agent.
noun
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3
A Federalist.
noun
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Origin of federal

  • From Latin foedus foeder- league, treaty bheidh- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From French fédéral, from Latin stem foeder- of foedus (“covenant, league, treaty, alliance”)

    From Wiktionary