- of or relating to the Federalists or to the Federalist party.
- supporting the principles of the Federalist party.
- (in the Civil War) pertaining to or supporting the Union government.
- relating to or adhering to the support of the Constitution.
- a Federalist.
- an adherent of the Union government during the Civil War; Unionist.
- a soldier in the Federal army.
- federal aviation administration,
- federal bureau of investigation,
- federal capital territory,
- federal case,
- federal communications commission
Origin of federal
- of or relating to the Federalist party or Federalism
- characteristic of or supporting the Union government during the American Civil War
- a supporter of the Union government during the American Civil War
- a Federalist
Word Origin for federal
1640s, as a theological term, from French fédéral, from Latin foedus (genitive foederis) "covenant, league, treaty, alliance," related to fides "faith" (see faith).
Meaning "pertaining to a treaty" (1650s) led to political sense of "state formed by agreement among independent states" (1707), from phrases like federal union "union based on a treaty," popularized by formation of U.S.A. 1776-1787.