[ adjective, noun kuhn-fed-er-it, -fed-rit; verb kuhn-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), con·fed·er·at·ed, con·fed·er·at·ing.

to unite in a league, alliance, or conspiracy.

Nearby words

  1. confectioners' sugar,
  2. confectionery,
  3. confed.,
  4. confederacy,
  5. confederal,
  6. confederate jasmine,
  7. confederate memorial day,
  8. confederate states of america,
  9. confederate war,
  10. confederation

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 formshalf-Con·fed·er·ate, adjectivenon·con·fed·er·ate, adjective, nounpro-Con·fed·er·ate, adjectiveun·con·fed·er·at·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for confederate

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 for confederate

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

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

Culture definitions for confederate


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

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