U.S. capital, founded 1791, named for President George Washington (1732-1799), the family name from a town in northeastern England, from Old English, literally "estate of a man named Wassa." The U.S. state was named when it was formed as a territory in 1853 (admitted to the union 1889).
State in the northwestern United States bordered by British Columbia, Canada, to the north; Idaho to the east; Oregon to the south; and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Its capital is Olympia, and its largest city is Seattle. The area to the west of the Cascades, which run north and south through the middle of the state, is wet, mountainous, and forested, that to the east is arid.