|1.||the act of seceding|
|2.||chiefly (US) (often capital) the withdrawal in 1860--61 of 11 Southern states from the Union to form the Confederacy, precipitating the American Civil War|
|[C17: from Latin sēcessiō a withdrawing, from sēcēdere to |
The withdrawal from the United States of eleven southern states in 1860 and 1861. The seceding states formed a government, the Confederacy, in early 1861. Hostilities against the remaining United States, the Union, began in April 1861 (see Fort Sumter), and the Civil War followed.