Fed"er*al (?), a. [L. foedus league, treaty, compact; akin to fides faith: cf. F. f'ed'eral. see Faith.]


Pertaining to a league or treaty; derived from an agreement or covenant between parties, especially between nations; constituted by a compact between parties, usually governments or their representatives.

The Romans compelled them, contrary to all federal right, . . . to part with Sardinia. Grew.

2. Specifically: (a)

Composed of states or districts which retain only a subordinate and limited sovereignty, as the Union of the United States, or the Sonderbund of Switzerland.


Consisting or pertaining to such a government; as, the Federal Constitution; a Federal officer.


Friendly or devoted to such a government; as, the Federal party. see Federalist.

Federal Congress. See under Congress.


© Webster 1913.

Fed"er*al, n.

See Federalist.


© Webster 1913.