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[kuh n-fed-er-uh-see, -fed-ruh-see] /kənˈfɛd ər ə si, -ˈfɛd rə si/
noun, plural confederacies.
an alliance between persons, parties, states, etc., for some purpose.
a group of persons, parties, states, etc., united by such a confederacy.
a combination of persons for unlawful purposes; conspiracy.
the Confederacy, Confederate States of America.
Origin of confederacy
1350-1400; Middle English confederacie < Anglo-French; see confederate, -acy

Confederate States of America

plural noun
the group of 11 Southern states that seceded from the United States in 1860–61.
Also called the Confederacy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for confederacy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Our confederacy, fellow-citizens, can only be preserved by the same forbearance.

  • Moreover, this was the heart of the confederacy and other unknown forces might be gathering.

    The Rock of Chickamauga Joseph A. Altsheler
  • I wouldn't have got off my horse and leaned over that box to save the confederacy.

    The Cavalier George Washington Cable
  • In all the confederacy no houseful went to sleep that night in sweeter content.

    The Cavalier George Washington Cable
  • It had been given only four times in the long history of the confederacy.

    Join Our Gang? Sterling E. Lanier
British Dictionary definitions for confederacy


/kənˈfɛdərəsɪ; -ˈfɛdrəsɪ/
noun (pl) -cies
a union or combination of peoples, states, etc; alliance; league
a combination of groups or individuals for unlawful purposes
Derived Forms
confederal, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Anglo-French confederacie, from Late Latin confoederātiō agreement, confederation


/kənˈfɛdərəsɪ; -ˈfɛdrəsɪ/
the Confederacy, another name for Confederate States of America

Confederate States of America

plural noun
(US, history) the 11 Southern states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi) that seceded from the Union in 1861, precipitating a civil war with the North. The Confederacy was defeated in 1865 and the South reincorporated into the US
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for confederacy

late 14c., from Anglo-French confederacie (Old French confederacie), from stem of Latin confoederatio, from confoederare (see confederate). Earliest in reference to leagues of classical Greek states (Aetolian, Achaean, etc.), later of the Netherlands. The word was used of the United States of America under (and in) the Articles of Confederation (1777-1788). In reference to the breakaway Confederate States of America (1861-1865) from 1861.

Confederacy now usually implies a looser or more temporary association than confederation, which is applied to a union of states organized on an intentionally permanent basis. [OED]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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confederacy in Culture

Confederacy definition

The Confederate States of America; the government formed in 1861 by southern states that proclaimed their secession from the United States. Jefferson Davis was its president. The Confederacy was dissolved after the Civil War. (Compare Union.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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