con·​fed·​er·​ate | \ kən-ˈfe-d(ə-)rət How to pronounce confederate (audio) \

Definition of confederate

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : united in a league : allied
2 Confederate : of or relating to the Confederate States of America


plural confederates

Definition of confederate (Entry 2 of 3)

2 Confederate : an adherent of the Confederate States of America or their cause


con·​fed·​er·​ate | \ kən-ˈfe-də-ˌrāt How to pronounce confederate (audio) \
confederated; confederating

Definition of confederate (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to unite in a confederacy

intransitive verb

: to band together

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from confederate


confederative \ kən-​ˈfe-​d(ə-​)rə-​tiv How to pronounce confederate (audio) , -​də-​ˌrā-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for confederate

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of confederate in a Sentence

Noun the Yankees and the Confederates the police were able to track down his confederates once the thief started talking Verb the nations confederated in order to lower international trade barriers
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Crews at Dixie State University installed a new bigger-than-life statue of a bison on campus, right in the spot where a controversial statue depicting confederate soldiers once stood, the Spectrum reported. The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 Mar. 2022 The Black Lives Matter movement's resurgence raised awareness of police brutality in the US, inspired legislation at federal and state levels and initiated confederate monument removals. Giselle Rhoden And Kaanita Iyer, CNN, 5 Feb. 2022 The Lafayette County Sheriff’s office is defending an employee who wore a confederate flag dress to her senior prom. Ashlee Banks, Essence, 24 Jan. 2022 Rioters rampaging, waving for the first time inside this Capitol, the confederate flag that symbolizes the cause to destroy America, to rip us apart. Ayushi Agarwal, ABC News, 6 Jan. 2022 City council approved the name change from Stonewall Jackson Road — a confederate general — to Roberto Clemente Road, following a decision by the school board last year to make the same change to the school. Ryan Gillespie,, 8 Jan. 2021 Ross was a Texas governor and A&M president who served as a confederate general in the Civil War. Dallas News, 27 June 2020 In July, a bust was removed from the Tennessee Capitol and relocated to a nearby museum after years of debate, part of a long stream of confederate memorabilia and monuments that have fallen in recent years. NBC News, 7 Dec. 2021 Billy proves quick on the draw when Sid and his confederate Twigs (Jay Pickett) show up to retrieve the runaway bride. Joe Leydon, Variety, 2 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun How much time will a chief confederate of the criminal former Cleveland city councilman Ken Johnson serve in prison? Laura Johnston, cleveland, 11 May 2022 Set slightly before that moment and focusing on the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad, the series follows a former confederate soldier turned leader of a cross continental voyage. Josh St. Clair, Men's Health, 29 Mar. 2022 The bombastic Mayor Shinn of Jefferson Mays and overdecorated Mrs. Shinn of Jayne Houdyshell are turned into veritable sight gags; Shuler Hensley’s Marcellus, Hill’s confederate, is made to appear a witless errand boy. Washington Post, 11 Feb. 2022 Summer-blooming confederate rose plants are not a rose at all but a member of the hibiscus genus. Tom Maccubbin,, 28 Aug. 2021 The Taliban proclaimed the return of its Islamic confederate - meaning that the militants who harbored the terrorists who planned the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks will be back in control on the 20th anniversary of that event. Author: Anne Gearan, Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Anchorage Daily News, 16 Aug. 2021 One theory is that the gunmen mistook Vázquez for a confederate of the dismembered victim. Patrick J. Mcdonnell, Los Angeles Times, 4 Dec. 2020 Timberlake is one of many celebrities weighing on the controversial confederate symbol, which has been slammed by critics as racist and hailed by supporters as a part of their heritage. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, 8 July 2020 He is also noted by the TSHA to have contributed to the confederate a safe passage of Texas cotton along the Rio Grande to Matamoros during the Union Occupation of Brownsville in 1864. Christian Alejandro Ocampo, Houston Chronicle, 13 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The holiday celebrates confederate soldiers such as Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. Mabinty Quarshie, USA TODAY, 15 June 2021 Early Thursday, the administration became aware of racist and confederate symbols of hate through a flag near a stairwell and defacing of a sidewalk, Principal David Travis said. Megan Jones,, 13 May 2021 As other cities have taken down monuments to confederate leaders, debate has arisen about what McKinney should do with the Throckmorton statue. Jon Arnold, Dallas News, 29 July 2020 By Tuesday morning, the cornerstone of the Confederate Soldiers & Sailors Monument was removed, punctuating the city’s long legal fight to remove a monument dedicated to confederate veterans. al, 3 June 2020 Former Birmingham Mayor William Bell ordered a monument to confederate veterans covered in August 2017. Anna Beahm |, al, 12 Feb. 2020 Should confederate monuments be preserved or destroyed? Dodie Kazanjian, Vogue, 4 Sep. 2017 The Warren County monument is one of four memorials to confederate soldiers in Ohio., 22 Aug. 2017 The jury would not be allowed to know about Tensing’s Great Smoky Mountains confederate flag T-shirt. Brandon Harris, New Republic, 20 June 2017 See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

First Known Use of confederate


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1531, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for confederate


Middle English confederat, from Late Latin confoederatus, past participle of confoederare to unite by a league, from Latin com- + foeder-, foedus compact — more at federal

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About confederate

Time Traveler for confederate

Time Traveler

The first known use of confederate was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near confederate



Confederate Heroes Day

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for confederate

Cite this Entry

“Confederate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for confederate


con·​fed·​er·​ate | \ kən-ˈfe-də-rət How to pronounce confederate (audio) \

Kids Definition of confederate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : united in a league
2 capitalized : of or relating to the southern Confederacy Her grandfather collected Confederate stamps.



Kids Definition of confederate (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a member of a league of persons, parties, or states
3 capitalized : a soldier of or a person who sided with the southern Confederacy

More from Merriam-Webster on confederate

Nglish: Translation of confederate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of confederate for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!