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)

transitive verb

: to unite in a confederacy

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 Now a professor at West Point and on the commission to rename U.S. military bases, Seidule’s focus is on the sullied history of those confederate generals whose names are emblazoned on U.S. Army bases. ABC News, "'This Week' Transcript 4-4-21: Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré (Ret.), Sen. Roy Blunt, Sec. Pete Buttigieg," 4 Apr. 2021 Including Orange County’s cities, 32 streets may have been named after confederate figures, including Bluford Avenue in Ocoee, History Center researchers found. Stephen Hudak,, "Orange County examines changing names of streets with potential Confederate ties," 23 Mar. 2021 Under Hession, Twitch finally banned depictions of the confederate flag and blackface. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "Twitch's First Transparency Report Is Here—and Long Overdue," 2 Mar. 2021 The plants that seem to be showing the most damage in central Arkansas are: loropetalum, gardenia, abelia, wax leaf Ligustrum, pineapple guava, confederate jasmine, palms, Soft Caress mahonia, and Distylium. Janet Carson, Arkansas Online, "Winter Damage," 1 Mar. 2021 Also on Tuesday, state Rep. Rafael Anchía, D-Dallas, filed a bill to remove confederate monuments, memorials and statues from the state Capitol. Cayla Harris,, "Texas Democrats fight to make this year’s Confederate Heroes Day the last," 19 Jan. 2021 Across the street, a large confederate flag flew from the back of a truck, which Arps said was a clear symbol promoting slavery and the antithesis of Christianity and patriotism. John D'anna, The Arizona Republic, "Even with temperatures rising, Trump rally is a hot ticket for the faithful in Prescott," 19 Oct. 2020 Brown, who graduated from Woodrow Wilson in 1984, mentioned how DISD changed the name of several schools named after confederate leaders in the past. Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, "‘DISD needs to do what’s right’: Woodrow Wilson alum, Pro Football Hall of Famer Tim Brown supports changing school’s name," 1 July 2020 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 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

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

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Statistics for confederate

Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Confederate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 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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