con·​fed·​er·​a·​cy | \ kən-ˈfe-d(ə-)rə-sē How to pronounce confederacy (audio) \
plural confederacies

Definition of confederacy

1 : a league or compact for mutual support or common action : alliance
2 : a combination of persons for unlawful purposes : conspiracy
3 : the body formed by persons, states, or nations united by a league specifically, capitalized : the 11 southern states seceding from the U.S. in 1860 and 1861

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Examples of confederacy in a Sentence

a confederacy of native tribes the last state to join the Confederacy
Recent Examples on the Web Once the heart of the confederacy, Virginia is now the land of Indian grocery stores, Korean churches and Diwali festivals. Robert Gebeloff, New York Times, "How Voters Turned Virginia From Deep Red to Solid Blue," 9 Nov. 2019 Once the heart of the confederacy, Virginia is now the land of Indian grocery stores, Korean churches, and Diwali festivals., "How voters turned Virginia from deep red to solid blue - The Boston Globe," 10 Nov. 2019 In short, will Disney function best as an empire, tightly overseeing its subjects? Or as a confederacy, allowing a degree of autonomy in places far from the capital? Steven Zeitchik, Washington Post, "Behind the scenes of the Disney-Sony fight for Spider-Man," 23 Aug. 2019 The church is only feet away from the Alabama State Capitol, on whose steps Jefferson Davis was sworn in as president of the confederacy. Jessica Huseman, ProPublica, "“I Now Have the Perspective of Both Sides”: 18 Voting Officials Take Civil Rights Tour," 13 May 2019 The gowns were always gorgeous and that face was always beat like the confederacy. Billboard, "6 Reasons Whitney Houston Is an Inspiration & Icon to the LGBTQ Community," 11 July 2018 Forrest was a general in the confederacy, a slave owner and a leader in the Ku Klux Klan. NBC News, "Tennessee lawmakers punish Memphis for removing Confederate statues," 18 Apr. 2018 And not everybody in the South was in favor of the confederacy. Lily Rothman, Time, "New Orleans Mayor on Fixing the Story of Race in America: ‘If It Was Taught One Way, It Can Be Unlearned’," 19 Mar. 2018 And yet the Trump administration has constantly and repeatedly fallen all over themselves to lionize the confederacy and its heroes. Jack Moore, GQ, "The Trump Administration Really Likes Defending Robert E. Lee, Huh?," 1 Nov. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'confederacy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of confederacy

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of confederacy was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Confederacy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for confederacy


How to pronounce confederacy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of confederacy

: a group of people, countries, organizations, etc., that are joined together in some activity or effort
: the group of 11 southern states that separated themselves from the U.S. during the American Civil War


con·​fed·​er·​a·​cy | \ kən-ˈfe-də-rə-sē How to pronounce confederacy (audio) \
plural confederacies

Kids Definition of confederacy

1 : a league of persons, parties, or states
2 capitalized : the eleven southern states that seceded from the United States in 1860 and 1861 to form their own government

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