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[har-is-burg] /ˈhær ɪsˌbɜrg/
a city in and the capital of Pennsylvania, in the S part, on the Susquehanna River.


[pen-suh l-veyn-yuh, -vey-nee-uh] /ˌpɛn səlˈveɪn yə, -ˈveɪ ni ə/
a state in the E United States. 45,333 sq. mi. (117,410 sq. km).
Capital: Harrisburg.
Abbreviation: PA (for use with zip code), Pa., Penn., Penna. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Harrisburg
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You will come with me as far as Harrisburg; it may be easier to part there than here.

  • Carleton, divining the state of affairs, took the railway to Harrisburg.

    Charles Carleton Coffin William Elliot Griffis, D. D.
  • The recommendations of the convention at Harrisburg were comprehensive.

    Union and Democracy

    Allen Johnson
  • A Harrisburg reprint of 1888 (100 copies to subscribers) is also quite rare.

    A Book for All Readers Ainsworth Rand Spofford
  • Well, there had been sight of those at Harrisburg and some at the blockhouses.

    Ride Proud, Rebel! Andre Alice Norton
British Dictionary definitions for Harrisburg


a city in S Pennsylvania, on the Susquehanna River: the state capital. Pop: 48 322 (2003 est)


a state of the northeastern US: almost wholly in the Appalachians, with the Allegheny Plateau to the west and a plain in the southeast; the second most important US state for manufacturing. Capital: Harrisburg. Pop: 12 365 455 (2003 est). Area: 116 462 sq km (44 956 sq miles) Abbreviation Pa, Penn, Penna, (with zip code) PA
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Harrisburg


American colony, later U.S. state, 1681, literally "Penn's Woods," a hybrid formed from the surname Penn (Welsh, literally "head") + Latin sylvania (see sylvan). Not named for William Penn, the proprietor, but, on suggestion of Charles II, for Penn's late father, Admiral William Penn (1621-1670), who had lent the king the money that was repaid to the son in the form of land for a Quaker settlement in America. The story goes that the younger Penn wanted to call it New Wales, but the king's secretary, a Welshman of orthodox religion, wouldn't hear of it. Pennsylvania Dutch is attested from 1824.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Harrisburg in Culture

Pennsylvania definition

State in the northeastern United States bordered by Lake Erie and New York to the north; New Jersey to the east; Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia to the south; and Ohio to the west. Its capital is Harrisburg, and its largest city is Philadelphia.

Note: One of the thirteen colonies.
Note: Named after the father of William Penn, a devout Quaker, who was granted proprietary rights by the king of England to almost the whole of what is now Pennsylvania in the late seventeenth century.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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