Definition of federal in English:


Syllabification: fed·er·al
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.
  • 1.1Of, relating 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.
  • 1.2Of, relating to, or denoting the central government of the US.
    More 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/
More 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.


More 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.


More example sentences
  • A day or so ago, I felt that federally it was a tight contest.
  • I know there's a lot of pressure from the news media today to clarify this situation and get something done federally.
  • They did not ask for my support of a particular candidate federally and I have not taken a clear position on the federal leadership issue.


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

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