Definition of confederate in US English:



Pronunciation /kənˈfed(ə)rət//kənˈfɛd(ə)rət/
  • 1Joined by an agreement or treaty.

    ‘some local groups united to form confederate councils’
    • ‘Therefore, he said that federal or confederate systems can better safeguard the independence and interests of some minor provinces.’
    • ‘Until we are allowed a vote on the decisions of the WTO and its confederate organisations, however, bricks hurled through windows remains all too timid a response.’
    • ‘Unable to reach an agreement between a federal or confederate link between the two parts, the country peacefully split into the independent Czech and Slovak Republics on 1 January 1993.’
    • ‘The national flag, officially adopted in 1848, originated in the fourteenth century, as the first confederate cantons needed a common sign for recognition among their armies.’
    • ‘The Bundesrat or Federal Council, which represented the governments of the confederate states, not their parliaments, differed little from the Federal Diet of 1815.’
    • ‘With the agreement of President Tudjman, a Croat-Muslim alliance was formed, laying down a federal Bosnia with the Croat entity having confederate status with Croatia itself.’
    • ‘From this point of view, the confederate model will consolidate domestic solidarity and unity toward the outside world, and this of course carries positive significance.’
    • ‘The last battle at White's Castle came a few decades later, when the confederate forces of Owen Roe O'Neill took and held it for three years before it was wrested from them by the English in the 1640s.’
    • ‘There he was, alone in a canyon, with only two ways out: either the large opening a few hundred meters away, covered by machine guns or on the confederate shuttle, as a prisoner.’
    • ‘Foreign affairs, defense, monetary matters, and communication would be entrusted to a confederate government elected by all citizens.’
    federal, confederated, federated, allied, in alliance, in league, cooperating, associated, united, combined, amalgamated
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Relating to the Confederate States of America.
      ‘the Confederate flag’
      • ‘Tallassee's cotton mill produced cotton duck for confederate tents during the Civil War.’
      • ‘Sherman's prime targets in his famous marches were Confederate war-making resources and morale.’
      • ‘I imagine that in the famous ‘blue states’ they find the idea of having a holiday for confederate heroes at the least quaint and at the most somewhat distasteful.’
      • ‘As a young child, Robert entertained confederate troops with his singing and dancing at a retirement home in Georgia.’
      • ‘One of the most effective naval blockades in history was imposed on Confederate ports by the Union Navy during the American Civil War.’
      • ‘With their swords and muskets raised the Yankee soldiers began killing every confederate soldier in sight.’
      • ‘They decorated their tents with the confederate flags.’
      • ‘On the way out, I was stuck behind a guy pulling a howitzer on a trailer that was covered in confederate flag stickers.’
      • ‘I run red lights even though I'm no longer rushing to buy heroin, and I shake with excitement when I see confederate flag stickers on the back of trucks.’
      • ‘The firm was seized by the confederate government during the American Civil War and became responsible for printing the South's currency and bonds.’
      • ‘Union artillery was unable to suppress confederate positions in the sunken road.’
      • ‘Also, if captured by Confederate troops, a Black soldier would be immediately executed or sold into slavery.’
      • ‘The tour also featured plenty of pornography and confederate flags.’
      • ‘Even though these were Union courts-martial, many Confederate soldiers were tried.’
      • ‘You know, it takes a lot of courage for someone in the Democratic Party to come out strong against confederate symbols.’
      • ‘This was not about the confederate flag; it was about our rights as free citizens of a free country.’
      • ‘I object to the pro-slavery overtones of the Gunmen's confederate army uniforms.’
      • ‘Segments of our country, including state governments, fly the confederate flag, an acknowledged symbol of slavery and resistance to the ideals of integration, equality and freedom.’
      • ‘‘I like it better here than in rural Alabama,’ says a man with confederate flag sewn on his trucker's cap.’
      • ‘About 500 demonstrators, carrying placards and banners, protested the execution, while a half-dozen or so death penalty supporters were on hand, some waving confederate flags.’


Pronunciation /kənˈfed(ə)rət//kənˈfɛd(ə)rət/
  • 1A person one works with, especially in something secret or illegal; an accomplice.

    ‘where was his confederate, the girl who had stolen Richard's wallet?’
    • ‘In addition, girl confederates may have been less provocative play partners than boy confederates, contributing to the lower levels of negative verbalizations on the part of girl participants.’
    • ‘The second step taken by the plaintiff was to commence a separate action against Mr. Tanev and his confederates in the cheque-kiting scheme.’
    • ‘As you enter the country, a lawyer will be given your name and your movements and actions will be closely monitored by a close knit band of khaki clad confederates at all times.’
    • ‘If I was involved in an undertaking with a thousandth as much at stake, I would want to look my confederates in the eye to see how they reacted to what I said.’
    • ‘His confederates steal the horse in question from a jailer who is keeping it for evidence and substitute it with another animal painted to look identical.’
    • ‘His first move was to return to England and there gather confederates to assist him in the scheme.’
    • ‘Certainly his confessions might still be reliable, along with the confessions of Abu Zubaydah and other confederates being interrogated in secret.’
    • ‘The paper reported law officials said the team was ‘aided by confederates in Newark who were responsible for logistical support, including money, rental cars, credit cards and lodging’.’
    • ‘Seven children (four boys and three girls) served as confederates.’
    • ‘In the years after the Treaty of Mellifont, and before The Flight of the Earls, Tyrone's country and the territories of his confederates and so on, was treated by martial law commissioners and Provosts Martial.’
    • ‘Under interrogation, the prisoners have spilled the identities of confederates and the details of many plots…’
    • ‘He goes on publishing the book and as many of his confederates as choose to go into the conspiracy do so, and they rear families in affluence.’
    • ‘The Choctaw were surrounded by Confederates and held long-standing grievances against the United States.’
    • ‘He and his confederates wish to convert ‘the city's most perpetually soggy neighborhoods - most of which are predominantly African American’ into green space to lure in those hipsters.’
    • ‘He had also furnished me capital and was become my confederate, an accomplice in my frauds.’
    • ‘This political configuration is no more than a gossamer ideal whose formation neither he nor his MMI confederates seriously espouse or actively promote.’
    • ‘As an example, I was given a drug dealer who spoke to his confederates about consignments of marmalade.’
    • ‘Blaser, Duncan and Jack Spicer were confederates of poetry, and in the late 1940s worked out the principles of ‘serial form’ which is a major contribution to contemporary poetry.’
    • ‘It follows that awareness that one of D's confederates might commit murder is sufficient to convict D as an accomplice, with a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.’
    • ‘With practically all the ruling dynasties getting wiped out, in the war or soon after, the devastation far exceeded the havoc wrought by the Haihayas and their confederates; and its effects lingered very much longer.’
    associate, partner, accomplice, abetter, accessory, helper, supporter, assistant, ally, collaborator, colleague
    View synonyms
  • 2A supporter of the Confederate States of America.

    • ‘After a time, the dark blue Union forces forced the gray Confederates into retreat; they cheered and the flags moved as if laughing.’
    • ‘The Federals made contact with the Confederates at about 0615 hours.’
    • ‘The Confederates won the battle and we acted like cowards!’
    • ‘To be sure, one can use official sources to identify uniformed Confederates who turned to bushwhacking after being caught behind enemy lines.’
    • ‘Still, Confederates struck hard at McPherson's Federals in a fierce day-long battle.’
    • ‘Should we be surprised that Confederates were not so different?’
    • ‘Despite heavy casualties, the Confederates kept their formation until they were intermingled with the northerners.’
    • ‘You can easily find Confederates, more often civilians than soldiers, who would have agreed with the senator, but his had become the minority view by the start of 1865.’
    • ‘He is, for example, an ardent apologist for Robert E. Lee, regarding him and other Confederates as American heroes.’
    • ‘The American nation is the product of the Revolutionaries' success and the Confederates ' failure.’
    • ‘How can a film actually invite us to root for Confederates?’
    • ‘The next afternoon, hours after the Confederates had abandoned their campsite, McClellan's army marched through.’
    • ‘That some 175,000 Confederates eventually surrendered suggests that fighting was a possibility, not a chimera.’
    • ‘At the edge of the clearing some more Confederates were arriving, strengthening the Rebel ranks.’
    • ‘That's exactly how the slaveholding Confederates described the Civil War, and how diehard ‘southern patriots’ describe it today.’
    • ‘In this encounter, a Union garrison of about four thousand defeated four times as many attacking Confederates in a fierce morning contest.’
    • ‘The Union army at Helena during the summer and fall of 1862 spent the majority of its energies fighting disease, not Confederates.’
    • ‘For their part, the Confederates considered Lincoln's peace terms tantamount to unconditional surrender.’
    • ‘The Confederates might have opted to purchase and import naval supplies such as machinery and iron plating before the war and its attendant blockade.’
    • ‘We would not have lost as much ships if we had sent the entire fleet, and we would have destroyed the confederates for good!’


[with object]
Pronunciation /kənˈfedəˌrāt//kənˈfɛdəˌreɪt/
usually as adjective confederated
  • Bring (states or groups of people) into an alliance.

    ‘Switzerland is a model for the new confederated Europe’
    • ‘This is a problem that arises in our confederated system.’
    • ‘This system of ‘confederating’ states was far more successful than the Greek idea of domination and submission.’
    • ‘He is also indicted with knowingly and intentionally combining, conspiring, confederating with people to possess with intent to distribute the substance in violation of US laws.’
    • ‘And second, two experiments were conducted in an attempt to reproduce empirically the confederating function of humor hypothesised in groups facing such situations.’
    • ‘The futility of enacting mercantilist legislation within a confederated polity was also demonstrated with regard to the navigation laws.’
    • ‘There is a curious discussion in the Spanish press as, to the possibility of confederating the Latin republics of South America with Spain.’
    • ‘That is only possible if Pakistan and Bangladesh again confederate with India.’
    • ‘The loosely confederated empire began to feel beleaguered from East and West, becoming aware of the growing pressure of Teutonism.’
    • ‘He had only ‘asked Sri Lanka to consider a quasi-federal or confederated setup under a constitutional system that accorded full rights to the Tamils’.’
    • ‘Additionally, since 1808 they had been fighting a guerrilla war with Indian tribes loosely confederated by the great Shawnee chief Tecumseh.’
    • ‘We are not a pure democracy, however, but rather a confederated republic (one that features, as well, county and local political subdivisions).’
    • ‘The thirteen States, loosely confederated, were too loose an organization to conduct effective war.’
    • ‘Another feature of the settlement was equally vital though less obvious: the creation of an independent, confederated, defensively oriented European centre.’
    • ‘The Articles, the American colonies' first effort at forming a nation, relied on voluntary cooperation among the confederated states to realize the purposes of the United States.’
    • ‘I am for my country, for the Union & for the constitutional rights of the whole of the people of the confederated states!’


Late Middle English: from late (ecclesiastical) Latin confoederatus, from con- ‘together’ + foederatus (see federate).