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 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

n an organization formed by merging several groups or parties

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

n a union of political organizations

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

n 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

Type of:
constitution, establishment, formation, organisation, organization
the act of forming or establishing something

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