Share this entry

federation Syllabification: fed·er·a·tion
Pronunciation: /ˌfedəˈrāSH(ə)n/

Definition of federation in English:


1A group of states with a central government but independence in internal affairs: [in names]: should the world be governed by a Pax Americana or by a democratic UN federation?
More example sentences
  • He was party general secretary in 1991, when Croatia claimed independence from the Yugoslav federation.
  • It does not just lobby in Brussels, but through its members' national federations it also lobbies the 25 European national governments.
  • To be sure, as the history of the European Union shows, there can be federalism without a federation.
1.1An organization or group within which smaller divisions have some degree of internal autonomy: [in names]: the best tag team in the World Wrestling Federation
More example sentences
  • There is a power struggle going on in global sport between the owners of particular clubs, the national federations and the international organisations.
  • The three major trade union federations in Italy have organised a four-hour general strike for Friday 24 October.
  • Will trade unions within the federation fund international work?
combination, alliance, coalition, union, syndicate, guild, consortium, partnership, cooperative, association, amalgamation
informal federacy
1.2The action of forming states or organizations into a single group with centralized control: a first step in the federation of Europe
More example sentences
  • And, contrary to the claims of the fathers of federation, Australian nationalism was not progressive.
  • But by the time of Australian federation, nationalism had undergone a profound transformation.
  • Also, let's not kid ourselves about the roots of Australian nationalism, the fathers of federation and all the rest of it.


Early 18th century: from French fédération, from late Latin foederatio(n-), from the verb foederare 'to ally', from foedus 'league'.



Example sentences
  • In 1897-98, the Constitution's framers, all committed federationists (the majority directly elected by the colonies' voters), spent close to a total of four months in meetings around the country, spread out over a full year.
  • Certainly federationists advanced this argument, but when the Federation League used it to solicit funds from Sydney businesses the results were very disappointing.
  • Following the defeat of the Spanish, centralist and federationist groups waged a lengthy conflict between themselves to determine the future of the nation.

Definition of federation in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day doofus
Pronunciation: ˈdo͞ofəs
a stupid person