A federation is an organization made up of smaller groups, parties, or states. The United States is a federation; the states all fall under the same federal government.

The word federation may be most familiar as part of the name of an organization — for example, the International Tennis Federation, the American Advertising Federation, or the National Wild Turkey Federation. If you follow World Cup soccer, you may be interested to learn that the acronym FIFA stands for Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Although the groups within a federation are united around a common goal or ideology, they usually like to keep some control at the local level as well.

Definitions of federation
  1. noun
    an organization formed by merging several groups or parties
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    AFL, American Federation of Labor
    a federation of North American labor unions that merged with the Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1955
    AFL-CIO, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations
    the largest federation of North American labor unions; formed in 1955
    CIO, Congress of Industrial Organizations
    a federation of North American industrial unions that merged with the American Federation of Labor in 1955
    type of:
    organisation, organization
    a group of people who work together
  2. noun
    a union of political organizations
    synonyms: confederacy, confederation
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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
  3. noun
    the act of constituting a political unity out of a number of separate states or colonies or provinces so that each member retains the management of its internal affairs
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    type of:
    constitution, establishment, formation, organisation, organization
    the act of forming or establishing something
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