Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

states' rights

noun plural

Definition of states' rights

  1. :  all rights not vested by the United States Constitution in the federal government nor forbidden by it to the separate states



1839

First Known Use of states' rights

1839

Rhymes with states' rights


Law Dictionary

states' rights

noun plural

Legal Definition of states' rights

  1. 1 :  rights and powers not forbidden to the states nor vested in the federal government by the U.S. Constitution

  2. 2 sing in constr :  a doctrine based on states' rights that has been used to justify state resistance to federal authority in matters seen as the exclusive concern of the states and that is most often associated with the states favoring slavery and secession in the 19th century — compare federalism




Learn More about states' rights


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up states' rights? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a timid, meek, or unassertive person

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

perplex disapprove soothe reduce
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ