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 capitalized : of or relating to the Confederate States of America



Definition of confederate (Entry 2 of 3)

2 capitalized : 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)

intransitive verb

: to band together

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Other Words from confederate


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for confederate

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Reports of previous protests show demonstrators carrying confederate flags, guns, signs with swastikas, and nooses. Sarah Midkiff,, "Michigan’s Latest Anti-Lockdown Protest “Operation Haircut” Is Exactly What It Sounds Like," 20 May 2020 Others waved confederate flags in masses down the streets as a symbol of collective defiance. Sarah Midkiff,, "Michigan Residents Protest Gretchen Whitmer’s Orders With Nazi & Confederate Flags," 16 Apr. 2020 Also, confederate jasmine does not seem to mind a hard pruning back to near the ground, if needed. Tom Maccubbin,, "Trim Knock Out roses when most flowers have declined," 29 June 2019 Plus, DeLue said, most confederate monuments aren't significant works of art discussed in art history lectures. Kristin Lam, USA TODAY, "A California school board has voted to paint over a mural of George Washington. Educators want to save it," 11 July 2019 During the Civil War, 500 of the 600 students enrolled at UVA would serve as confederate soldiers. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "Ghosts of Charlottesville: Racial divide haunts city as case against white supremacist closes," 14 July 2019 On the same night, Virginia Republicans nominated a hard-right Senate candidate, Corey Stewart, who has made racially charged attacks on immigrants and supported confederate symbols. Jonathan Tamari, Anchorage Daily News, "Primary results show the GOP is all in on Trump," 16 June 2018 Texas has the second highest number of confederate monuments of any states in the nation still left standing at 209. Doug Criss And Elizabeth Elkin, CNN, "The state leading the way in removing Confederate monuments? Texas," 5 June 2018 Alfred Brophy, a professor at the University of Alabama Law School, discusses the legal restrictions facing cities and towns that want to remove confederate monuments and memorials., "Bloomberg Law Brief: Legal Hurdles for Monument Removal (Audio)," 18 Aug. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun WLNS Newsroom ✔ @WLNS During a senate vote at the capitol it was brought to our attention that one State Senator was wearing a mask that appeared to have the confederate flag on it. NBC News, "Michigan lawmaker apologizes for wearing face mask that looks like Confederate flag," 25 Apr. 2020 But less well known is a variation of the experiment in which Asch introduced another variable—this time, one of the confederates gave the right answer while the rest of the crowd tried to mislead the participant. Olga Khazan, The Atlantic, "The Perks of Being a Weirdo," 3 Apr. 2020 The girl was said to have been dragged half a mile from her school, in broad daylight, kicking and screaming, to an unfinished apartment building half a mile away, where two confederates held her down and laughed as the man assaulted her. David M. Halbfinger, New York Times, "A Rape Case and a Wedding Strain Ties Between Arab and Jewish Villages," 25 June 2019 The film begins at the grand opening of the shop and the unrolling of a confederate flag outside its front door. Elizabeth Montgomery, azcentral, "Garrett Hedlund and Forrest Whitaker are great in 'Burden,' but the film lacks impact," 5 Mar. 2020 Henderson, Russo, and a small group of confederates are trying to make cryo-EM affordable. Eric Hand, Science | AAAS, "‘We need a people’s cryo-EM.’ Scientists hope to bring revolutionary microscope to the masses," 23 Jan. 2020 The new statue was celebrated by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who was mired in a blackface scandal earlier this year and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, who wants the confederate statues removed. CBS News, "Statue depicts black man on horseback "speaking back" to people looking at Confederate monuments," 11 Dec. 2019 Spooky spots: These days, confederate soldiers have been reported to still haunt the Central Burying Ground, says Baltrusis, who also runs the Boston Haunts ghost tour. Condé Nast Traveler, "8 Most Haunted Cities in America That You Should Visit," 25 Oct. 2019 Interact with members of the union and confederate armies, maybe even shake hands with Abraham Lincoln before witnessing the recreation of The First Battle of Petersburg., "BrewFest Waterfront District in Lorain and 12 more things to do around Cleveland this weekend," 10 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Former Birmingham Mayor William Bell ordered a monument to confederate veterans covered in August 2017. Anna Beahm |, al, "Here’s what Randall Woodfin said about Confederate monuments," 12 Feb. 2020 Should confederate monuments be preserved or destroyed? Dodie Kazanjian, Vogue, "Julie Mehretu Started Her Majestic New Paintings Right After The Election," 4 Sep. 2017 The Warren County monument is one of four memorials to confederate soldiers in Ohio., "Residents demand Confederate monument be returned," 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, "Searching for Justice for Samuel DuBose," 20 June 2017

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.

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First Known Use of confederate


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, 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

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Time Traveler for confederate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for confederate

Last Updated

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Confederate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for confederate



English Language Learners Definition of confederate

formal : a person who helps someone do something
: a soldier, citizen, or supporter of the Confederacy during the American Civil War


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

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