Definition of confederation in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˌfedəˈrāSH(ə)n/


1An organization that consists of a number of parties or groups united in an alliance or league: a confederation of trade unions
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  • The actions were called by all seven of the main trade union confederations and all the parties of the left, including the Socialist Party.
  • As organizations, each national party is a decentralized and loose confederation of state parties and of other affiliated groups.
  • The action, which is officially a one-day strike called by all the trade union federations and confederations, will be continued indefinitely by many workers.
1.1A more or less permanent union of countries with some or most political power vested in a central authority: Canada became a confederation in 1867
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  • The conservative cantons refused to revise the 1815 Pact, which guaranteed their sovereignty and gave them more power within the confederation than their population and economy warranted.
  • In 1397 the chief men of the three countries met at Kalmar to arrange a basis for a permanent legal confederation (the Union of Galmar).
  • Peoples will know that they cannot become conquerors without losing their own liberty; that permanent confederations are the sole means of maintaining their independence; that they must seek security, not power.
1.2The action of confederating or the state of being confederated: a referendum on confederation
More example sentences
  • In the Canadian capital, Ottawa, authorities snuffed and boarded up the Centennial Flame, which commemorates Canadian confederation, and erected barricades in anticipation of possible violence.
  • Beginning as a railway in the first century of Canadian confederation, it entered Canada's second century as a multi-model transport, industrial and financial enterprise.
  • The leaves disappeared from the penny only in 1967, when they were replaced by a rock dove to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of confederation.


Late Middle English: from Old French confederacion or late Latin confederatio(n-), from Latin confoederare, from con- 'together' + foederare 'join in league with' (from foedus 'league, treaty').

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Syllabification: con·fed·er·a·tion

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