Definition of federal
1 archaic : of or relating to a compact or treaty
2a : formed by a compact between political units that surrender their individual sovereignty to a central authority but retain limited residuary powers of governmentb : of or constituting a form of government in which power is distributed between a central authority and a number of constituent territorial unitsc : of or relating to the central government of a federation as distinguished from the governments of the constituent units
3 capitalized : advocating or friendly to the principle of a federal government with strong centralized powers; especially : of or relating to the American Federalists
4 often capitalized : of, relating to, or loyal to the federal government or the Union armies of the U.S. in the American Civil War
5 capitalized : being or belonging to a style of architecture and decoration current in the U.S. following the American Revolution
federallyplay \ˈfe-d(ə-)rə-lē\ adverb
Examples of federal in a Sentence
We pay federal, state, and local taxes.
The ruling was overturned by a federal appeals court.
furniture made in the Federal style
Recent Examples of federal from the Web
Sentance and senior staff are finalizing the state's strategic plan, called Alabama Ascending, as well the state's plan to fulfill federal obligations under the Every Child Succeeds Act.
The cities of Naperville and Aurora will share a $1.4 million federal grant to train police, firefighters and other emergency personnel in how to deal with a terrorist attack.
The local money would raise half the estimated $227 million project cost, with hopes of the rest from the federal government.
Last September a federal appeals court blocked the proof of citizenship requirement in Kansas and two other states.
This is a time for the private sector to step up, and for Congress to encourage that, because the public sector, especially the federal government, is stumbling around trying to figure out who its actual landlord is.
A federal grand jury has charged Brian Jones, 38, of VeVay, Indiana with defrauding investors United States Attorney Benjamin Glassman announced Thursday.
The commission’s first action, a broad request for information that drew acid responses from some states, could be halted by a federal judge.
That was a problem for the U.S. federal research facility Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), which needed something that could carry lots of equipment to measure solar irradiance, three-dimensional windspeed, and analyze air particulates.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'federal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Definition of Federal
1 : a supporter of the U.S. government in the Civil War; especially : a soldier in the federal armies
2 : fed 1 —usually used in plural The Federals arrested the smugglers.
First Known Use of federal
FEDERAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of federal for English Language Learners
: of or relating to a form of government in which power is shared between a central government and individual states, provinces, etc.
: of or relating to the central government
: of, relating to, or loyal to the federal government during the American Civil War
Definition of Federal for English Language Learners
: a supporter of the government of the U.S. in the American Civil War; especially : a soldier in the federal armies
: a federal agent or officer
FEDERAL Defined for Kids
Definition of federal for Students
: relating to a nation formed by the union of several parts
Legal Definition of federal
1 : of or constituting a form of government in which power is distributed between a central authority and a number of constituent territorial units (as states) a federal government
2 : of or relating to the central government of a federation as distinguished from the governments of the constituent territorial units (as states); especially : of or relating to the laws made and enforced by the federal government a federal crime
Origin and Etymology of federal
Latin foeder-, foedus compact, league
Seen and Heard
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