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 confederate (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 Students at a Georgia high school are leading a campaign to remove a confederate general name's from their school. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "Backed by NBA star Jaylen Brown, these Georgia students are leading the charge to remove a confederate general's name from their high school," 16 Dec. 2020 The removal of some 30 prominent confederate statutes and the redesign of the incendiary Mississippi state flag this year are reminders that seemingly permanent structures can, and need to be routinely scrutinized and reinvented. Anne Quito, Quartz, "2020 is the year when the public learned how vital design is for survival," 23 Dec. 2020 Ditching the Confederacy: Mississippians voted overwhelmingly for a new state flag, without the confederate symbol placed in it by segregationists in 1894. National Geographic, "What Kamala Harris means," 9 Nov. 2020 The monument has been the subject of controversy this year as many monuments honoring the confederate general have been removed. Hollie Silverman, CNN, "Police respond to multiple incidents during 'Trump Train' mobile vehicle rally in Richmond," 2 Nov. 2020 Mississippi has formally rebuked the confederate battle cross that once adorned its state flag. April Siese, CBS News, "Mississippi votes in favor of adopting new flag," 4 Nov. 2020 George Floyd's uncle, Selwyn Jones, is being harrassed in his town of of Gettysburg, South Dakota after successfully urging the local police department to remove a badge on uniforms that bore the confederate flag. Star Tribune, "George Floyd's uncle fights harassment in Gettysburg, S.D.," 10 Oct. 2020 John Henley was Linn’s son-in-law and also a confederate captain. Anna Beahm |, al, "Birmingham’s Linn Park could honor civil rights leaders after board OK," 7 Aug. 2020 Laura also uprooted a confederate statue whose presence was the subject of a legal battle in Louisiana and has left hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without power across the region, The Associated Press reported. Meena Thiruvengadam, Travel + Leisure, "Tropical Storm Laura Could Strengthen This Weekend, Bringing Heavy Rain and Flooding to Parts of the U.S.," 28 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun One theory is that the gunmen mistook Vázquez for a confederate of the dismembered victim. Patrick J. Mcdonnell, Los Angeles Times, "This reporter went to cover a homicide in Mexico. Then he became a victim," 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, "'Disgusting symbol': Justin Timberlake joins Taylor Swift in calling for removal of confederate statues," 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, "No plans to change Laredo school named after Confederate colonel," 13 July 2020 Since the death of George Floyd in police custody, both cities and protesters have been taking down confederate statues nationwide. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Candidates for prosecutor explore "defund the police"," 25 June 2020 The president used the opportunity to brag about his coronavirus response while downplaying its current threat, slam the media and some of his Democratic rivals, as well as to defend confederate statues. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "The 'Kung Flu' and other takeaways from Trump's Tulsa rally," 21 June 2020 This year marks the 155th anniversary of the holiday when Texas – the last confederate holdout – officially abolished slavery in 1865. Fox News, "Army veteran and congressional candidate: Proposal to make Juneteenth federal holiday 'a step in the right direction'," 20 June 2020 The evening of June 1, demolition teams rolled in to start dismantling the 52-foot confederate monument in Linn Park. Shauna Stuart |, al, "Brennan’s Irish Pub in Birmingham will host event to raise money for protesters’ bail," 10 June 2020 More roads in Alabama celebrate confederate officers and Klansmen than veterans of any other single war. John Archibald |, al, "Why monuments must fall and names change," 12 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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, "McKinney City Council approves advisory board to discuss Confederate statue," 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, "Confederate cornerstone removed from Birmingham park," 3 June 2020 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

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Confederate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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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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