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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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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.