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Little Rock

a city in and the capital of Arkansas, in the central part, on the Arkansas River.


[ahr-kuh n-saw; also for 2 ar-kan-zuh s] /ˈɑr kənˌsɔ; also for 2 ærˈkæn zəs/
state in S central United States. 53,103 sq. mi. (137,537 sq. km).
Capital: Little Rock.
Abbreviation: AR (for use with zip code), Ark.
a river flowing E and SE from central Colorado into the Mississippi in SE Arkansas. 1450 miles (2335 km) long.
Related forms
[ahr-kan-zuh n] /ɑrˈkæn zən/ (Show IPA),
[ahr-kan-zee-uh n] /ɑrˈkæn zi ən/ (Show IPA),
noun, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for Little Rock

Little Rock

a city in central Arkansas, on the Arkansas River: state capital. Pop: 184 053 (2003 est)


(ˈɑːkənˌsɔː). a state of the southern US: mountainous in the north and west, with the alluvial plain of the Mississippi in the east; has the only diamond mine in the US; the chief US producer of bauxite. Capital: Little Rock. Pop: 2 725 714 (2003 est). Area: 134 537 sq km (51 945 sq miles) Abbreviation Ark., (with zip code) AR
(ɑːˈkænzəs). a river in the S central US, rising in central Colorado and flowing east and southeast to join the Mississippi in Arkansas. Length: 2335 km (1450 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 Little Rock


organized as a U.S. territory 1819 (admitted as a state 1836), named for the Arkansas River, which was named for a Siouan tribe.

The spelling of the term represents a French plural, Arcansas, of a name applied to the Quapaw people who lived on the Arkansas River; their name was also written in early times as Akancea, Acansea, Acansa (Dickinson, 1995). This was not the name used by the Quapaws themselves, however. The term /akansa/ was applied to them by Algonquian speakers; this consists of /a-/, an Algonquian prefix found in the names of ethnic groups, plus /kká:ze, a Siouan term refering to members of the Dhegiha branch of the Siouan family. This stem is also the origin for the name of the Kansa tribe and of the state of Kansas; thus the placenames Arkansas and Kansas indirectly have the same origin. [William Bright, "Native American Placenames of the United States," 2004]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Little Rock in Culture

Little Rock definition

Capital of Arkansas and largest city in the state.

Note: In 1957, federal troops were sent into Little Rock to enforce the United States Supreme Court ruling in Brown versus Board of Education against racial segregation in the public schools. Little Rock became a symbol of the South's resistance to school integration.

Arkansas definition

State in the south-central United States bordered by Missouri to the north, the Mississippi River to the east, Louisiana to the south, and Texas and Oklahoma to the west. Its capital and largest city is Little Rock.

Note: One of the Confederate states during the Civil War.
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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