A confederacy is a political union. The most famous American confederacy consisted of the southern states who fought the northern states in the American Civil War.

When you confederate — that is, join together for a common purpose — what you get is a confederacy. Americans will never forget a well-known but ill-fated confederacy, the Confederate States of America: an unrecognized state that formed in 1861, uniting the slave states that left the United States at the time of the Civil War. Any such political union could be called a confederacy (or a federation). When you see the word confederacy, think of togetherness in the political realm.

Definitions of confederacy
  1. noun
    a union of political organizations
    synonyms: confederation, federation
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    a federation of tribes (especially Native American tribes)
    Creek Confederacy
    a North American Indian confederacy organized by the Muskogee that dominated the southeastern part of the United States before being removed to Oklahoma
    Hanseatic League
    a commercial and defensive confederation of free cities in northern Germany and surrounding areas; formed in 1241 and most influential in the 14th century when it included over 100 towns and functioned as an independent political power; the last official assembly was held in 1669
    federation of tribes, tribe
    a federation (as of American Indians)
    type of:
    a political unit formed from previously independent people or organizations
  2. noun
    a group of conspirators banded together to achieve some harmful or illegal purpose
    synonyms: conspiracy
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    type of:
    band, circle, lot, set
    an unofficial association of people or groups
  3. noun
    a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act
    synonyms: conspiracy
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    conspiracy of silence
    a conspiracy not to talk about some situation or event
    type of:
    agreement, understanding
    the statement (oral or written) of an exchange of promises
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