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[adjective, noun kuh n-fed-er-it, -fed-rit; verb kuh n-fed-uh-reyt] /adjective, noun kənˈfɛd ər ɪt, -ˈfɛd rɪt; verb kənˈfɛd əˌreɪt/
united in a league, alliance, or conspiracy.
(initial capital letter) of or relating to the Confederate States of America:
the Confederate army.
a person, group, nation, etc., united with others in a confederacy; an ally.
an accomplice, especially in a mischievous or criminal act.
(initial capital letter) U.S. History. a supporter of the Confederate States of America.
verb (used with or without object), confederated, confederating.
to unite in a league, alliance, or conspiracy.
Origin of confederate
1350-1400; Middle English confederat < Late Latin confoederātus (past participle of confoederāre to unite in a league), equivalent to con- con- + foeder- (stem of foedus) treaty (see fidelity) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
half-Confederate, adjective
nonconfederate, adjective, noun
pro-Confederate, adjective
unconfederated, adjective
3. associate, partner, cohort. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for confederate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I shall take other measures; for I see you are a confederate with them.

    Joseph Andrews, Vol. 2 Henry Fielding
  • At any rate I was convinced she was a good confederate, and my heart rose.

    The Cavalier George Washington Cable
  • We never charge a confederate soldier for anything; that's not our way.

    The Cavalier George Washington Cable
  • No, he's Federal, confederate or guerilla as it may suit his bloody ends.

    The Cavalier George Washington Cable
  • They spotted him and a confederate slipped a hypo into his arm.

    Poisoned Air Sterner St. Paul Meek
British Dictionary definitions for confederate


noun (kənˈfɛdərɪt; -ˈfɛdrɪt)
a nation, state, or individual that is part of a confederacy
someone who is part of a conspiracy; accomplice
adjective (kənˈfɛdərɪt; -ˈfɛdrɪt)
united in a confederacy; allied
verb (kənˈfɛdəˌreɪt)
to form into or become part of a confederacy
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin confoederātus, from confoederāre to unite by a league, from Latin com- together + foedus treaty


/kənˈfɛdərɪt; -ˈfɛdrɪt/
of, supporting, or relating to the Confederate States of America
a supporter of the Confederate States of America
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 confederate

late 14c., from Late Latin confoederatus "leagued together," past participle of confoederare "to unite by a league," from com- "with, together" (see com-) + foederare, from foedus (genitive foederis) "a league" (see federal). Also used as a past participle adjective from late 14c., as a simple adjective from 1550s; meaning "of or belonging to the Confederate States of America" is from 1861. Used as a noun from late 15c. (Late Latin confoederatus also was used as a noun in its day).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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confederate in Culture

Confederate definition

A descriptive term for the institutions and people of the Confederacy.

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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