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Relating to the general government or union of the states; based upon, or created pursuant to, the laws of the Constitution of the United States.

The United States has traditionally been named a federal government in most political and judicial writings. The term federal has not been prescribed by any definite authority but is used to express a broad opinion concerning the nature of the form of government.

A recent tendency has been to use the term national in place of federal to denote the government of the Union. Neither settles any question regarding the nature of authority of the government.

The term federal is generally considered to be more appropriate if the government is to be viewed as a union of the states. National is used to reflect the view that individual state governments and the Union as a whole are two distinct and separate systems, each of which is established directly by the population for local and national purposes, respectively.

In a more general sense, federal is ordinarily used to refer to a league or compact between two or more states to become joined under one central government.


adjective allied, associated, banded, central, combined, confederate, federate, federative, foederatus, foedere sociatus, governmental, joined in a union, joint, leagued, merged, national, united
Associated concepts: federal aid, federal common law, feddral Constitution, federal courts, federal government, federal jurisdiction, federal law, federal offense, federal question, federal regulation, federal rights
See also: collective, mutual, national, public
References in periodicals archive ?
Following is the text of the Order: WHEREAS it is expedient to repeal the Senate (Elections of Members from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas) Order, 2015 for the purposes hereinafter appearing;
One of the programs that President Bush has endorsed is the Federally Qualified Health Clinic for meeting needs of the underserved, the Medi-Cal, and uninsured populations.
It is ironic that Mohamed's Social Security number qualified him for federally funded benefits, yet disqualified him for EIC purposes.
McKinley Bank, and Northrim Bank--and three federally chartered banks--First National Bank Alaska, KeyBank, and Wells Fargo Bank.
Over the past five years, more than $50 million in federal loans and grants went to the following federally approved institutions:
As well, federally sentenced women have disproportionate rates of physical and mental disabilities, and are three times more likely to suffer from depression than their male counterparts.
Entrepreneur programs are mostly federally funded and are therefore not supposed to be offered to illegal immigrants.
The HUD Federally Insured Program can help seniors from losing their homes to foreclosure, provide an option to pay off debt to avoid bankruptcy and also pay for in home care.
Following a temporary moratorium, in effect since March, on federally funded experiments involving transplantation of fetal tissue, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced this week that a panel of experts in law, medicine and bioethics will examine the difficult questions surrounding fetal tissue transplantation for the potential treatment of such disorders as Parkinson's disease and diabetes (SN: 4/23/88, p.
The majority of new drugs are based on findings made by dedicated, hard-working, federally funded scientists in universities and government laboratories, not the research arms of drug companies.
To obtain data about the policies of universities and colleges concerning (1) making the results of federally funded research available to the public without delays, and (2) managing financial conflicts of interest, we surveyed these universities and colleges via a web-based survey.
persons convicted of producing methamphetamine on federally assisted housing premises;

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