federalism

noun
fed·​er·​al·​ism | \ ˈfe-d(ə-)rə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce federalism (audio) \

Definition of federalism

1a often capitalized : the distribution of power in an organization (such as a government) between a central authority and the constituent (see constituent entry 2 sense 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 centralism
b : support or advocacy of this principle
2 capitalized : Federalist principles

Examples of federalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In the end, the main kibosh to federalism has come from the technocrats running the economy for Mr Duterte. The Economist, "Rodrigo Duterte is losing interest in creating a federal Philippines," 1 Aug. 2019 Neither of these impulses is remotely in accordance with the Constitution’s structure, which encourages federalism and discourages direct democracy via a number of bulwarks, notably the Electoral College and the Senate. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Our Democracy Is Not in Crisis," 23 July 2019 True to Washington’s fears, Americans have allowed government officials, under assertions of expediency and party unity, to ignore the most basic tenets of our constitutional order: separation of powers, federalism and the rule of law. Justin Amash, Twin Cities, "Justin Amash: Our politics is in a partisan death spiral. That’s why I’m leaving my party," 10 July 2019 Gamble’s strongest argument is that letting federal prosecutions override state decisions undermines federalism. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Supreme Court Gamble," 5 Dec. 2018 Mario Tama/Getty Images The Gilroy, California, festival shooting on Sunday, in which a shooter killed three people and injured 12 others, exposed a big weakness in California’s strict gun laws: federalism. German Lopez, Vox, "California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. But the state laws can’t overcome federal law.," 30 July 2019 New York claimed the law violated the Tenth Amendment’s federalism requirements as well as the Guarantee Clause. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Make the Guarantee Clause Great Again," 17 July 2019 True to Washington’s fears, Americans have allowed government officials, under assertions of expediency and party unity, to ignore the most basic tenets of our constitutional order: separation of powers, federalism and the rule of law. Justin Amash, Twin Cities, "Justin Amash: Our politics is in a partisan death spiral. That’s why I’m leaving my party," 10 July 2019 Yeah, there's been a growing tendency, a real change, a return to a kind of a different spirit of American federalism. Nicholas Thompson, WIRED, "Tim Wu Explains Why He Thinks Facebook Should Be Broken Up," 5 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of federalism

1787, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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More Definitions for federalism

federalism

noun, often capitalized
fed·​er·​al·​ism | \ ˈfe-drə-ˌli-zəm, ˈfe-də-rə- How to pronounce federalism (audio) \

Legal Definition of federalism

: 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on federalism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with federalism

Spanish Central: Translation of federalism

Nglish: Translation of federalism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about federalism

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