1. Also fed·er·al·is·tic. of federalism or the Federalists.

Origin of federalist

An Americanism dating back to 1780–90; federal + -ist
Related formshy·per·fed·er·al·ist, noun

Federalist, The

  1. a series of 85 essays (1787–88) by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, written in support of the Constitution.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for federalist


  1. a supporter or member of the Federalist party
adjective Also: Federal'istic
  1. characteristic of the Federalists
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 federalist

"member or supporter of the Federal party in U.S. politics," originally of supporters of the Philadelphia constitution, 1787, American English, from federal + -ist. General sense of "one who supports federal union" is from 1792.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper