fed·​er·​al·​ist ˈfe-d(ə-)rə-list How to pronounce federalist (audio)
: an advocate of federalism: such as
often capitalized : an advocate of a federal union between the American colonies after the Revolution and of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution
often capitalized : world federalist
capitalized : a member of a major political party in the early years of the U.S. favoring a strong centralized national government
federalist adjective often capitalized

Examples of federalist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web European federalists dismiss these problems as growing pains. Foreign Affairs, 14 Dec. 2015 Among the many alarmist policy experts, sensationalistic journalists, idealistic federalists, and spinning politicians who dominate debates over the European Union, the Dutch political philosopher and former policy adviser van Middelaar stands out as a balanced and thoughtful observer. Andrew Moravcsik, Foreign Affairs, 22 Feb. 2022 But a federalist system of public health becomes kind of clunky when these gaps in leadership or responsibility are exploited for political gain. Leslie Nemo, Discover Magazine, 24 July 2020 The beauty of the U.S. federalist system is that the 50 states can experiment and learn from one another. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 11 Nov. 2022 As national issues increasingly dominate local politics, the downsides of our federalist system may be outweighing the virtues. The Politics Of Everything, The New Republic, 21 Sep. 2022 Ensuring safe and reliable drinking water is fundamentally a local responsibility under the U.S. federalist system, with the state and federal government providing some oversight. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 5 Sep. 2022 Erosion of comity between the states will have far-reaching and unpredictable consequences for our federalist system of government. Lindsay Beyerstein, The New Republic, 2 Aug. 2022 Every state, in our federalist system, has perfectly constitutional laws and regulations that indirectly affect industries outside its boundaries. Matthew Scully, National Review, 11 July 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'federalist.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1774, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of federalist was in 1774

Dictionary Entries Near federalist

Cite this Entry

“Federalist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/federalist. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


fed·​er·​al·​ist ˈfed-(ə-)rə-ləst How to pronounce federalist (audio)
: a supporter of federal government
especially, often capitalized : a supporter of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution
capitalized : a member of a major political party in the early years of the U.S. favoring a strong central national government
noun often capitalized
federalist adjective often capitalized

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