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: (a) 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. (b) Consisting or pertaining to such a government; as, the Federal Constitution; a Federal officer. (c) Friendly or devoted to such a government; as, the Federal party. see Federalist.
Federal Congress. See under Congress.
Fed·er·al, n. See Federalist.
adj 1: national; especially in reference to the government of the
United States as distinct from that of its member
units; "the Federal Bureau of Investigation"; "federal
courts"; "the federal highway program"; "federal
2: of or relating to the central government of a federation; "a
federal district is one set aside as the seat of the
3: being of or having to do with the northern United States and
those loyal to the Union during the Civil War; "Union
soldiers"; "Federal forces"; "a Federal infantryman" [syn:
4: characterized by or constituting a form of government in
which power is divided between one central and several
regional authorities; "a federal system like that of the
United States"; "federal governments often evolved out of
confederatons" [ant: unitary]
n 1: a member of the Union Army during the American Civil War
[syn: Federal soldier, Union soldier]
2: any federal law-enforcement officer [syn: Fed, federal