Definition of federal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfed(ə)rəl/


1Having or relating to a system of government in which several states form a unity but remain independent in internal affairs: Russia’s federation treaty shares powers among Russia’s federal and local governments
More example sentences
  • Within a federal system of government, there is now a national Bill of Rights.
  • Do you mean, what about regional devolution like that which might occur under a federal European government?
  • That said, the funds are unlikely to approach the level of transfers found in traditional federal systems.
1.1Relating to or denoting the central government as distinguished from the separate units constituting a federation: the federal agency that provides legal services to the poor
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  • He had been a distinguished federal judge on the second most powerful court in the nation.
  • The fact that a matter might or might not give rise to a claim under federal jurisdiction does not constitute it as a claim.
  • Nor did their training and effort constitute federal service, and thereby qualify them for future benefit.
1.2Relating to or denoting the central government of the US.
Example sentences
  • Others mocked it as a paper bullet that only freed slaves in areas where the federal government had no authority.
  • The federal government says about half of your schools are failing to make the grade.
  • This figure is nearly four times the number that the federal government admits.
1.3 (Federal) US historical Of the northern states in the Civil War: a loud Federal cheer was heard, proving Stonewall to be hard pressed
More example sentences
  • The battle came as the Northern Federal government led by Abraham Lincoln was on the verge of defeat.



Pronunciation: /ˌfed(ə)rəliˈzāSHən/
Example sentences
  • I suspect we're going to look at some sort of a grant program to help local governments, but I don't believe we'll see - I hope we don't see - a one-size-fits-all federalization of the election process.
  • The trend toward federalization of crime (and criminalization of everything) has prominent critics.
  • I am also willing to accept that the change may not be due to federalization.


Pronunciation: /ˈfed(ə)rəˌlīz/
Example sentences
  • It federalizes chemical security by forcing more than 13,000 plants to file plans with the Department of Homeland Security, identifying terrorist vulnerabilities.
  • When you look at countries that take security seriously, they have federalized the process or put in it hand of law enforcement.
  • It has to be federalized because you can't have a piecemeal system.


Mid 17th century: from Latin foedus, foeder- 'league, covenant' + -al.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: fed·er·al

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