also An·ti·fed·er·al·ist  (ăn′tē-fĕd′ər-ə-lĭst, -fĕd′rə-lĭst, ăn′tī-)
An opponent of the ratification of the US Constitution.

an′ti·fed′er·al·ist adj.
an′ti·fed′er·al·ism n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˌæntɪˈfɛdərəlɪst; -ˈfɛdrə-)
1. (Historical Terms) history US a person who opposed the ratification of the Constitution in 1789 and thereafter allied with Thomas Jefferson's Antifederal Party, which opposed extension of the powers of the federal Government
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) history US a person who opposed the ratification of the Constitution in 1789 and thereafter allied with Thomas Jefferson's Antifederal Party, which opposed extension of the powers of the federal Government
3. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (often not capital) any person who opposes federalism
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌæn tiˈfɛd ər ə lɪst, -ˈfɛd rə-, ˌæn taɪ-)

1. a member of a group that before 1789 opposed the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and after that favored its strict construction.
2. (l.c.) an opponent of federalism.
[1780–90; Amer.]
An`ti•fed′er•al•ism, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The report of this decision, moreover, records the following statement by Justice Chase, a former Antifederalist, during oral argument:
Like many other scholars, he sees the Bill of Rights as the Federalist response to Antifederalist complaints about the unamended Constitution.
In the ratification process, Sherman answered Antifederalist critics bewailing the absence of a bill of rights by insisting that a paper guarantee was of no real use.
In the Virginia ratifying convention, George Mason observed that, "[t]o make representation real and actual, the number of representatives ought to be adequate; they ought to mix with the people, think as they think, feel as they feel,--ought to be perfectly amenable to them, and thoroughly acquainted with their interest and condition." Similarly, the Antifederalist Brutus (likely Robert Yates) observed that, because the people must assent to the laws by which they are governed, their representatives must be the sort of men who would "possess, be disposed, and consequently be qualified to declare the sentiments of the people." If the representatives lack this connection with the people, Brutus continued, "the people do not govern, but the sovereignty is in a few."
antitrust system as the product of a contest between the federalist preference for more direct and substantial federal oversight of corporations and the antifederalist preference for less direct and encompassing federal intervention, which shaped conceptions about how the antitrust system should function.
at 598 ("During the 1788 ratification debates, the fear that the federal government would disarm the people in order to impose rule through a standing army or select militia was pervasive in Antifederalist rhetoric.").
This is a biography of Mercy Otis Warren (1728-1814), whose anonymously-penned plays in support of the American Revolution satirized British and American Loyalists and led John Adams to consider her the "most accomplished woman in America" and whose three-volume The History of the Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution offered an Antifederalist interpretation of the Revolution.
And it is certainly true that the Bill of Rights was promised and proposed to mollify these Antifederalist opponents, though more importantly it was meant to assuage those in the middle who were moved by the Antifederalists' objection that the Constitution lacked a bill of rights and who were persuaded to support the Constitution after the Federalists promised to adopt a bill of rights.
(58) The term gerrymander first appeared as an amalgam of the name of Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry and the "salamander-like" odd outline of an election district Gerry was credited with forming to protect the Antifederalist party political advantages.
During the debate over whether to ratify the Constitution, New Yorker Melancton Smith, like Husband an Antifederalist, echoed his claim that enlarging legislative districts tended to increase the relative strength of the well-to-do.
Laracey sheds welcome light on how the nineteenth-century presidency was powerfully shaped by a mass, decentralized party system molded by antifederalist principles.
By placing the Federalist Papers within their proper historical context, the author demonstrates at best tenuous support for the "limited norm" against presidents "going public." He concludes the chapter with a survey of how elements of the Antifederalist and Federalist philosophies evolved into the Democratic and Republican beliefs of the nineteenth century.