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[kuh n-tuhk-ee] /kənˈtʌk i/
a state in the E central United States. 40,395 sq. mi. (104,625 sq. km).
Capital: Frankfort.
Abbreviation: KY (for use with zip code), Ken., Ky.
a river flowing NW from E Kentucky to the Ohio River. 259 miles (415 km) long.
Related forms
Kentuckian, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for kentuckian
Historical Examples
  • I had my best horse, a thoroughbred kentuckian, fed at once.

  • But when the kentuckian pointed his revolver at the speaker, they pulled to the shore at once.

  • Dropping the hand of the German, Deerfoot took one step forward and saluted the young kentuckian in the same manner.

    The Lost Trail Edward S. Ellis
  • So far from being grave, this dark kentuckian was as gay and buoyant as any of the party.

    The Hunters' Feast Mayne Reid
  • The dirk of the second kentuckian ended the sport, which had terminated in a rather serious way.

    The Americans as They Are Charles Sealsfield
  • On recognising his antagonist in the duel, the kentuckian gives out a groan.

    The Lone Ranche Captain Mayne Reid
  • Larry Moore was a kentuckian by birth, and had many Kentucky characteristics.

    The Memories of Fifty Years William H. Sparks
  • This kentuckian pronunciation grates "hairshly" on my Southern ears.

    A Confederate Girl's Diary Sarah Margan Dawson
  • We did ride the next day, and many days thereafter; and Aloha proved all and more than the kentuckian had promised.

    The Fat of the Land John Williams Streeter
  • "I will do it, Major," answered the tall kentuckian, and dashed away.

    An Undivided Union Oliver Optic
British Dictionary definitions for kentuckian


a native or inhabitant of Kentucky
of or relating to Kentucky or its inhabitants


a state of the S central US: consists of an undulating plain in the west, the Bluegrass region in the centre, the Tennessee and Ohio River basins in the southwest, and the Appalachians in the east. Capital: Frankfort. Pop: 4 117 827 (2003 est). Area: 102 693 sq km (39 650 sq miles) Abbreviation Ken., Ky., (with zip code) KY
a river in central Kentucky, rising in the Cumberland Mountains and flowing northwest to the Ohio River. Length: 417 km (259 miles)
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 kentuckian


U.S. state, earlier a county of Virginia, organized 1776; the name is of Iroquois or Shawnee origin, perhaps a Wyandot (Iroquoian) word meaning "meadow" (cf. Seneca geda'geh "at the field"); the river name seems to have been the original use in English; the native use perhaps was first in reference to a village in Clark County known in Shawnee as Eskippakithiki. Related: Kentuckian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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kentuckian in Culture

Kentucky definition

State in the east-central United States bordered by Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio to the north; West Virginia and Virginia to the east; Tennessee to the south; and Missouri to the west. Its capital is Frankfort. Louisville is its largest city.

Note: The state is known for the breeding of race horses. The Kentucky Derby, a famous horse race, is held every year in Louisville.
Note: Kentucky bluegrass is a type of folk music that originated in the southern United States. The music is named for a bluish-tinged grass that grows in Kentucky.
The American Heritage® 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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