the act of confederating.
the state of being confederated.
a league or alliance.
a group of confederates, especially of states more or less permanently united for common purposes.
the Confederation, the union of the 13 original U.S. states under the Articles of Confederation 1781–89.
(initial capital letter) the federation of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, formed in 1867 and constituting the Dominion of Canada.

1375–1425; late Middle English < Late Latin confoederātiōn- (stem of confoederātiō) an agreement, equivalent to confoederāt(us) confederate + -iōn- -ion

confederationism, noun
confederationist, noun
anticonfederationism, noun
anticonfederationist, noun, adjective
nonconfederation, noun

3. coalition, federation. See alliance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
confederation (kənˌfɛdəˈreɪʃən)
1.  the act or process of confederating or the state of being confederated
2.  Compare federation a loose alliance of political units. The union of the Swiss cantons is the oldest surviving confederation
3.  (esp in Canada) another name for a: federation

Confederation (kənˌfɛdəˈreɪʃən)
1.  (US) history the Confederation the original 13 states of the United States of America constituted under the Articles of Confederation and superseded by the more formal union established in 1789
2.  the federation of Canada, formed with four original provinces in 1867 and since joined by eight more

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

early 15c., "act of confederating," from Fr. confédération, from O.Fr. confederacion (14c.), from L. confoederationem, noun of action from confoederare (see confederate). Meaning "states or persons united by a league" is from 1620s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

confederation definition

A group of nations or states, or a government encompassing several states or political divisions, in which the component states retain considerable independence. The members of a confederation often delegate only a few powers to the central authority.

Note: The United States was governed as a confederation in the first few years of its independence (see Articles of Confederation).
Note: Canada is officially a confederation of provinces.
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
He is now the head of a confederation of factory workers' unions.
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