federalism

play
noun fed·er·al·ism \ˈfe-d(ə-)rə-ˌli-zəm\

Definition of federalism

  1. 1a often capitalized :  the distribution of power in an organization (such as a government) between a central authority and the constituent (see 2constituent 1) units under our system of federalism, states bear the primary responsibility for defining and controlling criminal behavior — W. R. LaFave & J. R. Israel — compare centralismb :  support or advocacy of this principle

  2. 2 capitalized :  Federalist principles

Recent Examples of federalism from the Web

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

First Known Use of federalism

1787


Law Dictionary

federalism

play
noun , often cap fed·er·al·ism \ˈfe-drə-ˌli-zəm, ˈfe-də-rə-\

Legal Definition of federalism

  1. :  distribution of power in a federation between the central authority and the constituent units (as states) involving especially the allocation of significant lawmaking powers to those constituent units — compare comity, full faith and credit, states' rights



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up federalism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

cleverly stylish

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time-traveler-quiz-which-word-came-first
  • Which came first?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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