Word of the Day


Origin of the word

Confederate derives from late Latin ‘confoederatus’ and late Middle English ‘confederat’ to mean ‘leagued together’.


Confederate is a noun used to denote an individual who works in tandem with another to achieve something, often illicit or illegal. It is more popularly used nowadays to refer to the Confederate States of America, which refers to a number of slave-holding states that formed their own government in 1861, which was considered illegal by the US government. This led to the American Civil War (1861 to 1865) between the Union on one side and the Confederacy on the other.

Monuments in Baltimore, Maryland to Confederate figures have been removed overnight, including statues of Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. The controversial memorials had been thrust into the limelight when a far-right protest in Charlottesville, Virginia ended with a civil rights activist being killed. The protest in Virginia against the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee ended with a white nationalist sympathizer ramming a car into anti-fascist demonstrators. Other American cities have accelerated plans to take down Confederate monuments following the violence in Virginia.


A citizen of the Confederacy, or a soldier in their army.
View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

About the author

Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary is an award-winning, one-stop reference for English learners and speakers around the world.

Leave a Comment