[kuhn-fed-er-uh-see, -fed-ruh-see]
noun, plural confederacies.
an alliance between persons, parties, states, etc., for some purpose.
a group of persons, parties, states, etc., united by such a confederacy.
a combination of persons for unlawful purposes; conspiracy.

1350–1400; Middle English confederacie < Anglo-French; see confederate, -acy Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
confederacy (kənˈfɛdərəsɪ, -ˈfɛdrəsɪ)
n , pl -cies
1.  a union or combination of peoples, states, etc; alliance; league
2.  a combination of groups or individuals for unlawful purposes
[C14: from Anglo-French confederacie, from Late Latin confoederātiō agreement, confederation]

Confederacy (kənˈfɛdərəsɪ, -ˈfɛdrəsɪ)
the Confederacy another name for Confederate States of America

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from Anglo-Fr. confederacie, from stem of L. confoederatio, from confoederare (see confederate). Earliest in ref. to leages of classical Gk. states (Aetolian, Achaean, etc.), later of the Netherlands. The word was used of the United States of America under
(and in) the Articles of Confederation (1777-1788). In ref. to the breakaway Confederate States of America (1861-1865) from 1861.
"Confederacy now usually implies a looser or more temporary association than confederation, which is applied to a union of states organized on an intentionally permanent basis." [OED]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

Confederacy definition

The Confederate States of America; the government formed in 1861 by southern states that proclaimed their secession from the United States. Jefferson Davis was its president. The Confederacy was dissolved after the Civil War. (Compare Union.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences for confederacy
The abenakis were one of the five members of the wabanaki confederacy.
Sumner was a leading proponent of abolishing slavery to weaken the confederacy.
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