1. Pertaining to a league or treaty; derived from an agreement or covenant between parties, especially between nations; constituted by a compact between parties, usually governments or their representatives. "The Romans compelled them, contrary to all federal right, . . . To part with Sardinia." (Grew)

2. Specifically: Composed of states or districts which retain only a subordinate and limited sovereignty, as the Union of the United States, or the Sonderbund of Switzerland.

Consisting or pertaining to such a government; as, the Federal Constitution; a Federal officer.

Friendly or devoted to such a government; as, the Federal party. See Federalist. Federal Congress. See Congress.

Origin: L. Foedus league, treaty, compact; akin to fides faith: cf. F. Federal. See Faith.

(01 Mar 1998)

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