Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A union of persons, parties, or states; a league.
  • n. The persons, parties, or states joined in such a union.
  • n. The Confederate States of America.
  • n. A group of people who have united for unlawful practices; a conspiracy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an alliance

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A league or compact between two or more persons, bodies of men, or states, for mutual support or common action; alliance.
  • n. The persons, bodies, states, or nations united by a league; a confederation.
  • n. A combination of two or more persons to commit an unlawful act, or to do a lawful act by unlawful means. See Conspiracy.
  • n. With the, the Confederate States of America.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A contract between two or more persons, bodies of men, or states, for mutual support or joint action of any kind; a compact, league, or alliance.
  • n. An aggregation of persons, parties, states, or nations united by a league; a confederation.
  • n. In law, a combination of two or more persons to commit an unlawful act; a conspiracy.
  • n. Confederated action; coöperation; concurrence.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the southern states that seceded from the United States in 1861
  • n. a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act
  • n. a union of political organizations
  • n. a group of conspirators banded together to achieve some harmful or illegal purpose

Etymologies

Middle English confederacie, from Anglo-Norman, from Late Latin cōnfoederātiō, cōnfoederātiōn-, agreement, from cōnfoederātus, past participle of confoederāre, to unite; see confederate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

Comments

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  • WORD: confederacy

    Two EXAMPLES from Jonathan Swift:

    (1) ' When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign; that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. '

    Jonathan Swift. The Battle of the Books and Other Short Pieces, the above quote appearing in his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting".
    CITE: Wikisource: << http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Thoughts_on_various_subjects >>

    (2) ' This evil fortune, which generally attends extraordinary men in the management of great affairs, has been imputed to divers causes, that need not be here set down, when so obvious a one occurs, if what a certain writer observes be true, that when a great genius appears in the world the dunces are all in confederacy against him. '

    1728 Jonathan Swift. Essay on the Fates of Clergymen.
    CITE: << http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Jonathan_Swift#Quotes >>
    CITE: << http://www.online-literature.com/swift/religion-church-vol-one/13/ >>

    September 12, 2013

  • Neat map! Even though I too think "... of dunces" when I see the word "confederacy." :-)

    April 1, 2008

  • I love that whenever I see this word I immediately think "... of dunces."

    But that's not why I've come here today... I've come here today to say that I've been mesmerized all morning by this animated page. Even though some of its facts are wrong.

    April 1, 2008